A NEW team will aim to ensure Bendigo businesses and customers are following COVID-safe practices such as identification checks and QR code check-ins.
The business support officers will be deployed under the state government's and City of Greater Bendigo's Business Concierge and Hospitality Support Program.
The officers will visit locations such as supermarkets and shopping strips to provide information to customers on QR code check-in, physical distancing, hand hygiene and facemasks, updating business contact details in the city's database and linking businesses to other support services.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Jennifer Alden said these staff wear City of Greater Bendigo uniforms and were there to provide a helping hand to businesses and the community.
"Over the coming days they will be promoting the importance of checking and showing identification," she said.
Together with the city, Bendigo leaders were also reminding businesses and residents to check and show identification while out and about.
Cr Alden said it was critical that everyone in the community worked together to help keep each other safe and keep businesses open.
"I understand at this point in the pandemic people are tired and frustrated, but it is absolutely necessary that we each continue to play our part," she said.
"This is a big ask of businesses, particularly young staff, but given we are residents of regional Victoria and not currently living under any lockdown restrictions, I am asking residents to please show your identification willingly."
"Regional Victoria is not immune to this Delta variant and quite quickly it could take hold and we would find ourselves in lockdown, so let's all keep working together for the benefit of our whole community."
Businesses required to check customer identification, include; accommodation facilities (for tourism-related bookings), food and drink facilities when providing seated service, and restricted retail facilities, including hairdressers, beauty and personal care facilities.
Local businesses can use the state government's postcode, suburb and address checker to identify whether a person is from metropolitan Melbourne or a locked down area of regional Victoria.
Be.Bendigo chief executive Dennis Bice said he acknowledged and understood the challenges checking identification brought but it was a key way to protect businesses, staff and customers.
"These restrictions and requirements are designed to help keep us safe. We have excellent vaccination rates in Greater Bendigo and across regional Victoria but we need to ensure that as businesses and residents we are working to the restrictions of the day," Mr Bice said.
"We hope the Premier's road map announcement this weekend gives good direction on restrictions easing and future opportunities for businesses to open up, but this will only be possible if we all do what is required of us today and over the coming weeks."
Other business include required to check ids include; licensed tourism operators, entertainment and function facilities, physical recreation facilities, except where those facilities are unstaffed, real estate agents (related to any activity except for final property inspections).
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