Auckland mayoral hopeful and bar and grill owner Leo Molloy has announced a date to reopen his Headquarters in the Viaduct Basin.
Despite no clear date emerging yet for when such Auckland outlets could reopen, Molloy said he would impose new rules: patrons who show proof of having been double-vaccinated would be served by fully vaccinated staff from the date he set.
"It's December 1. I'm going to open then because someone has to lead," said the outspoken hospitality specialist who founded the high-profile Princes Wharf eatery Euro which announced this month it would shut.
Molloy said he was in touch with a number of experts including epidemiology specialist Professor Rod Jackson at Auckland University.
That date seemed the best, he said.
"I'm telling the staff at 3pm," Molloy said of the 61 people Headquarters employs.
However, he doesn't believe he will violate pandemic measures and said he would liaise with the police to ensure no law was being broken.
"We'll start preparing to reopen three days before because we have to get everything in," Molloy said.
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Last month, Molloy said he planned to segregate staff when Headquarters reopens in alert level 2.
Molloy told the Herald vaccinated staff would wear yellow T-shirts and work indoors directly with the clients.
Non-vaccinated staff will wear charcoal T-shirts and work outdoors only and kitchen staff and cleaners will wear black T-shirts, he said in September.
"All staff will wear masks. I wouldn't want to be served by someone who isn't vaccinated so I think customers would be happy if they know the person serving them is. It's not just the virus morphing but government policy morphing and mutating - there is no clarity in what they are planning next so I am trying to get myself in a position where I can create a number of different options for customers to feel safe, so the solution was to come up with three different uniforms," Molloy said last month.
But today, he said he planned for all staff to be double-vaccinated.
Molloy plans to run for the city's mayor in the next election, saying he is tired of the central city's traffic congestion issues and promised to create a "vibrant town" if elected.
Molloy's intention to run for mayor was announced via a post on the Headquarters' Facebook page - deeming him a "coruscating contender" that wanted to get Auckland "moving again" and was against "woke pretentious white whingeing wankers".