Auckland will join the rest of New Zealand and move to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 this week, giving the business events industry the green light to meet again.
The change will come into effect at 11:59pm on Wednesday 7 October, meaning from Thursday there will be no restrictions on gatherings or businesses.
During her announcement to the press, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country is proud of its “collective achievement in eliminating the virus”.
“My message to New Zealanders remains the same as it always has been, we are in a good position because we went hard and we went early,” she said.
“We plan to continue responding to COVID-19 and we will apply the same rigor to our economic recovery as we did to our world-leading health response.”
CINZ welcomes the move
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) chief executive Lisa Hopkins welcomed the move to Alert Level 1, saying it “dispels all confusion about who can meet and where”.
“We have been given the green light to meet, with the country fully opened up to domestic groups, and Aucklanders again welcome to any region,” she said.
“Now is the time to rebuild the industry and deliver confidence back to organisers who have been holding off planning and booking their events.
“Our message is it is safe to hold a conference, seminar, workshop, or team recognition event.
“We want people to understand that business events are the safest type of event that can be held, backed up by the World Health Organisation itself.”
The removal of gathering restrictions is good news for BE Reconnected, CINZ’s free industry exhibition and networking day in Auckland on 1 December.
“BE Reconnected will be an essential platform to support the sector now and beyond,” said Hopkins.
“It is imperative for the good of the country and for the industry that we now move forward safely, and with assurance.”