Hospitality New Zealand has expressed that the decision by the Government to take Auckland back into Level 3 lockdown, and the rest of New Zealand into level 2, for seven days is more devastating news for the hospitality sector.
Chief Executive Julie White commented that the immediate impact of the lockdown starting at 6am Sunday will result in a wash of cancellations throughout the country. Hospitality operators will have held crisis meetings and work through the night to adhere to the new settings. Accommodation operators will have less than twelve hours to pivot how they adhere to the new settings, including cancelling buffet breakfasts and other functions planned for the day.
“As the week goes on, all hospitality businesses will be hit hard, in Auckland they will have to close for the second time this month and the impact will ripple throughout New Zealand. The only saving grace for some is the wage subsidy and the business resurgence fund, however, for others, these support packages will barely scratch the surface when it comes to covering the immediate losses and cancelations to come,” said White.
“Our hospitality businesses are an essential part of our communities and will provide much of the employment that is needed for the recovery, but they can’t do that if they’re not here. Yoyoing in and out of alert levels may leave some operators contemplating how they will be able to continue to operate.”
Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders rely on hospitality businesses for their living — from hotel, café, bar, casino and restaurant staff through to cleaning contractors, bakeries and delivery drivers.
The hospitality and tourism sectors collectively bring $40 billion per year into the New Zealand economy and employ more than 400,000 people.