Nightclub owner welcomes Plan B restrictions easing after being closed for weeks

A nightclub owner has welcomed the easing of Plan B restrictions after being closed for weeks due to struggles with Covid passports.

Hazim Owens (left) and Aquib Janjua (right) - owners of Meduza nightclub
Hazim Owens (left) and Aquib Janjua (right) - owners of Meduza nightclub

Hazim Owens, owner of the Meduza nightclub in Wellington, said things had been quiet at the club and they closed not long ago after struggling with fake Covid passports and a lack of visitors.

"It has been affecting us quite badly, we haven't been getting customers at all.We have been closed for weeks on end now," Hazim said.

Meduza, located in The Parade, opened shortly after lockdown restrictions eased in July, but Hazim said they have struggled since then.

He said they were following the rules and regulations strictly, but not every visitor was, so they closed and were looking forward to clearer rules coming from the Government.

Hazim said: "When people come to the door and we would ask for their vaccination or negative test proof, they would either say they hadn't got it or they didn't have any.

"And it's pretty easy to fake a text message. So we have not even opened properly until we knew more – so it has really affected us as a business.

"We don't want to jeopardise our business and so we would rather build something up slowly than risk it."

Hazim hoped the easing of restrictions would mean they could open up again soon and welcome people back, if they felt more confident.

He added: "We didn't even want to entertain the possibility of something not being legitimate."

Meanwhile, Lance Pettet, landlord of the Lamb Inn at Edgmond, said he thinks people will still make their own choices, but welcomed the easing of restrictions for business.

"To be honest we will continue giving our staff the option of wearing masks and if the public want to continue wearing them until they sit down or elsewhere in the pub, that's their choice," he said.

"We will go with what the people want really. We are not moving tables any closer, keeping a distance around the pub still, so hopefully people will feel comfortable."

He said the start of the year is always quiet, but maybe people will feel more confident to come out again as the restrictions ease.

He added: "Our numbers have been increasing – even this week it's been really good. I think people are becoming more in a mindset of it's here and it's not going away so we need to make the best of it.

"You can't do anymore than we have already done with getting out jabs and being cautious. People will make their own choices."

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