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The New Zealand Government Has Announced a Ban on Events of More Than 500 People

It will include public events held both indoors and outdoors.
By Stephen Heard
March 16, 2020
By Stephen Heard
March 16, 2020

Following the New Zealand Government's border control measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on non-essential organised gatherings of 500 or more people to 'flatten the curve'.

The decision made at Cabinet today will include public events held both indoors and outdoors. Ardern said there were 107 non-essential events of this size set to happen in the country's major centres in the coming weeks, that may include festivals, fairs, sporting and religious events.

Large-scale events which took precautionary measures before the ban include Auckland's ASB Polyfest and Wellington's Jim Beam Homegrown. A statement released by capital street festival CubaDupa said the cancellation of upcoming major events was "a crushing blow," but "entirely necessary."

"Our organisation produces what might be New Zealand's largest and most creative free outdoor festival. Our team and creative partners were ready to fill the streets of Te Aro with 1500 artists, 447 events, and celebrate cultural identity with tens of thousands of friends and neighbours. But in the name of public health and safety, and flattening the potential epidemic curve, going dark and keeping audiences and artists safe seems like the right policy."

At this stage the gatherings ban excludes schools and universities. Further guidelines will be announced later in the week. The ban follows a similar decision from the Australian Government last week.

To stay up-to-date with the events postponed and cancelled in your city, head over here.

Image: Ollie Crawford, CubaDupa.

Published on March 16, 2020 by Stephen Heard
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