Cafe, restaurant and bar owners around the country are anxious about the new level 2 rules, refusing to take on what they believe is a policing role.
However, any backlash for disregarding the rules is unlikely to fall on business, said a legal expert.
Bohemian Bakery owner Marcela Angyalova, who owns three small bakeries in Christchurch, said her staff follow level 2 rules but would not play the part of police or bouncers.
The bakery displays QR codes and additional messages about level 2 rules, has sign-in sheets, tables are spaced out, and staff wear masks, said Angyalova, but the business could not afford extra staff to man the door.
Staff who had tried encouraging mask-wearing or QR scanning had received abuse from customers, added Angyalova.
She said some people are not wearing masks as a statement and telling them to wear one would not end well.
She hoped everyone would do the right thing but refused to interfere or assume the role of the police.
Riverside Market's general manager Rachel Gould was on the same page.
She said they encourage people to scan in but cannot make them nor stop people from entering if they haven't.
People have generally been following the rules, but it adds stress and anxiety for business owners already under pressure.
Hospitality NZ's Jeremy Smith, a shareholder and the director of Trinity Group, said all its establishments have someone at the door, ensuring customers wear a mask and sign in. If they do not, they are asked to leave.
He said it is the same protocol for someone underage or intoxicated. The pressure is on businesses to enforce it, even if they don't want to.