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Restaurants, Cinemas and Gyms Can Open in New Zealand from This Thursday

As long as physical distancing and hygiene measures are practised.
By Stephen Heard
May 11, 2020
By Stephen Heard
May 11, 2020

After two weeks at Alert Level 3 and more than four weeks under nationwide lockdown to stamp out COVID-19 in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed the country will move to Level 2 from Thursday, 14 May.

Last week when outlining what a move to the new level would look like, Ardern revealed that the return to normalcy may be rolled out in several steps. Retail stores including shopping malls, restaurants and cafes, and public venues like cinemas, gyms and playgrounds will be the first to open for business this week.

From next Thursday, 21 May, bars which primarily only sell alcohol will then be allowed to open as long as they adhere to the gathering and safety restrictions which were set out last week — patrons must be 'seated', 'separated', and each table must have its own 'single server'.

Gathering restrictions have also been set at ten people. This means mass gatherings like weddings, funerals, family events, concerts, religious services and public meetings will have a maximum of ten people.

Public venues must also comply with conditions on gatherings and undertake public health measures, including contact tracing systems to keep records of customers to trace any outbreaks of the virus. The temporary measure will be reviewed in two weeks. It does not apply to large public venues, or playing professional sports, which are controlled environments.

From this Thursday, Kiwis can also begin to move around the country. Air New Zealand will operate around 20 percent of its usual domestic capacity when the country enters Alert Level 2. While the forthcoming level drop means that the disease is contained, the risk of community transmission still remains. For that reason, Ardern advised to keep track of where you've been and who you've seen.


New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 from midnight Wednesday, 13 May. Read more about COVID-19 Alert Level 2 here and head to the New Zealand Government's Ministry of Health website for the latest COVID-19 advice.

Published on May 11, 2020 by Stephen Heard


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