At the media conference on 4 October the Prime Minister outlined the next steps for the country after Cabinet’s level review. Unfortunately it continues to be a devastating situation for Auckland, with some steps towards loosening of restrictions proposed in the future. The announcements:
- Auckland will stay in Alert level 3 for at least another 7 days
- Auckland will have a 3-step plan. Steps will be reviewed each week to ensure it’s safe to move before confirming the next step:
- Step 1 – from 11:59pm on Tuesday 5 October. outdoor gatherings between 2 households can go ahead, with a maximum of 10 people attending.
- Step 2 – public facilities will be able to reopen, as will retail shops. Retail can operate (including takeaway businesses), with customers able to enter premises, wearing face coverings and keeping 2 metres apart. The number of people who can meet outdoors will increase to 25. Date to be confirmed.
- Step 3 – hospitality businesses will be able to be open, with a 50-person limit and seated and separated. Indoor gatherings will be permitted. Date to be confirmed
- The current easing of household restrictions will not extend to northwest Waikato, which is under bespoke settings.
The rest of the country will remain at Alert Level 2, however will no longer require the 100 person cap. Seated and separated restrictions will remain in place. Events classed as social gatherings will still keep their 100 person cap.
The Auckland hospitality industry has time and again been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and it is time that our Government recognised this by providing financial relief that is specific and targeted to our sector. Three weeks ago, we laid out an eight point plan as part of our Future of Hospitality Roadmap to help our sector to reopen, which includes target financial support options.