As in the catering trade, retailers who do not ask for 2-G verification from their customers are threatened by a regulation with a fine of up to 3,600 euros or up to four months’ imprisonment. Because of the “lockdown for unvaccinated people”, theoretically only those who have been vaccinated or recovered are allowed to serve in stores who do not buy their daily needs. But because many did not adhere to it, the tightening has been in effect in the state of Salzburg since Monday. The only exceptions are grocery stores, drug stores or pharmacies.
“Possibility to prevent a fifth lockdown”
Head chef Moritz Schliesselberger personally checked in the Lederhaus Schliesselberger in Salzburg’s old town on Monday. The customers understood that. And the leather goods dealer resigned himself to the controls: “If this gives us the opportunity to prevent a fifth lockdown, then I’ll be happy to do it.”
The umbrella producer Kirchtag in Getreidegasse has also been requiring 2-G certificates since Monday. One is not really happy with the inspection obligation imposed by the state of Salzburg: “Nobody voluntarily shows it because people just don’t know,” says umbrella manufacturer Andreas Kirchtag. “The problem is again that this is only in Salzburg and not in other federal states.”
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Europark: Six checkpoints, stamp on hand
In the Europark shopping center in Salzburg-Taxham, on the other hand, six service points have been set up where dying customers have to provide their 2-G verification: “The check is then confirmed with a stamp on the back of the hand,” says Europark center manager Manuel Mayer. “With this I can go to all Europark shops with one check.”
Practically all customers accept the duty of inspection by retailers: “I am happy when it is taken so strictly,” said a Europark customer from Upper Austria. “And I hope that everyone will see that one day.”
Tightening annoy the Chamber of Commerce
The general 2-G control still causes annoyance in the trade, said the branch spokesman in the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce, Johann Höflmaier. Above all, it is also criticized that violations of the 2-G regulation punish the business operator and not the customer: “We completely lack understanding. It’s like punishing a driver in traffic because the driver drove too fast. In principle, the trade also receives penalties here for an offense caused by someone else. “
In any case, the majority of customers should be checked at the cash registers and not at the entrance. Very few entrepreneurs will be able to assign extra staff for this. There are no special QR code scanners for the “Green Pass” or training courses. Höflmaier assumes that dealers and customers will get used to the controls, just like in the catering industry, even if nobody in the industry is happy, security is currently the most important thing.
2-G controls launched in stores
“Incentive” wanted for companies
Around 30 percent of customers, namely those who die, are lost to the trade as a result of this 2-G rule. A balance would be needed, believes leather goods retailers: “These companies should be given an incentive. The catering trade has had half the VAT rate for two years. Why don’t the companies that take part receive half the VAT rate? That would be an idea. “
All in all, the first days of the 2-G inspections by retailers were largely calm. But if there is a rush of shopping at the weekend, it could look very different.