A trans-Tasman travel bubble and the easing of social distance requirements on buses and planes are all possible under Covid-19 alert level 2, says prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Speaking at yesterday’s Covid-19 update, Ardern said the Government had the flexibility to adjust settings within level 2, and it did not need to drop to level 1 to ease restrictions.
“While our border measures carry on regardless of what level we are at, let me be clear that amendments to the border rules can occur at any level,” Ardern said.
“So, it is possible to have a trans-Tasman bubble, for instance, at level 2 – it is not contingent on us being at level 1 for that to happen.”
The prime minister also said that the current physical distancing requirements on public transport could also be eased within level 2.
“We will also have the option down the track of potentially relaxing certain physical distancing restrictions such as on buses and on planes,” Ardern said.
“Many of you will know at the moment physical distance requirements means that they are running under full capacity – I believe the planes at 50%. So, there is the option of looking down the track at reducing some of those requirements potentially even while we are still at level 2, if that’s what the data supports.”
Ardern said the Government was also looking at a range of other measures to help support tourism and local businesses and she did not rule out the possibility of a public holiday.
“I’ve heard a range of different options being floated and what we’ve been careful to do is not be dismissive of those,” she said. “This is an extraordinary time and we should be willing to consider extraordinary ideas.”
Bars were allowed to open today provided they followed level 2 measures, including social distancing, contact tracing, all customers being seated and a capacity restriction of 100 people.
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