Large business events will be able to go ahead at level 1. Image: TT
Events of any scale can go ahead and transport operators can return to normal passenger capacities at Covid-19 alert level 1, says prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Speaking at yesterday’s Covid-19 update, Ardern said gatherings of any size could occur at level 1, paving the way to a return to some semblance of normality for New Zealand’s hard-hit business events industry.
The Government was expected to make a decision on whether to move down alert levels on Monday 8 June. That could potentially see the country move to level 1 by the middle of next week.
Ardern said that at that level, all current rules and restrictions on businesses and services, including physical separation on planes and public transport, were essentially lifted.
“All gatherings of any size can occur, however, we are working with ticketing agencies and large scale event organisers on a ‘Covid code’ – whereby contact details are collected so that we can keep a track of people at large gatherings in the event that we need to follow them up for contact tracing,” she said.
“We see this as being an industry code, a voluntary one, one we work together with industry who work in large events in order to better support and facilitate future contact tracing if it is required.”
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand chief executive Lisa Hopkins said the business events organisation would help develop the new voluntary code.
“We want people to understand business events are the safest type of event you can hold because they are highly organised and managed by professionals who work under strict codes of practice,” she said.
“Our message is it is safe to hold a conference, seminar, workshop, incentive travel event and gala dinner under already-developed and enhanced track, tracing, health and hygiene standards. We will also be working with the broader events sector to develop a voluntary code, to support New Zealand’s efforts in the key area of public health.”
Hopkins added that a move to level 1 next week showed New Zealand’s success in combating Covid-19.
“Getting to this level has taken less time than we originally envisaged back in March, and we are now the envy of the world,” she said.
“New Zealand’s team of five million has proved we can unite against this virus, and our industry is committed to keeping New Zealand safe for meetings.”
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