However, industry leader warns hospitality owners and operators still need to prepare for a long road ahead and calls for a swifter move to level 1 for Auckland.
Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive, Julie White, said: “Moving the rest of the country to operate with the freedoms of Alert Level 1 again is much needed, especially for bar and nightclub operators who haven’t been able to operate through Alert Level 2.
“Removing some of restrictions from Alert Level 2.5 in Auckland such as the 10-person cap on social gatherings is welcomed, however, in our industry working at Level 2 is still a constraining environment and sadly, it won’t be enough to save those who were already struggling. For some of our members it has been too late.
“With the proposed restrictions for Auckland to be reviewed in 14 days’ time, this means five weeks of restrictive conditions for our Auckland hospitality operators. While we’re supportive of the Government in trying to contain the virus with the health and wellbeing of all Kiwis being the number one priority, we do hope Auckland is eased to Level 1 very soon, especially since the virus is under control – because a swift move to Level 1 for Auckland benefits the entire nation.
“In the meantime, we encourage all Kiwis to use the COVID Tracer App, no matter where they are in New Zealand. Hospitality businesses continue to use operating guidelines to ensure health and safety standards are met – so we ask all Kiwis to get back out there and continue to support their local hospitality businesses – that’s the only way our sector will survive,” concludes White.