Little has changed after today’s post-cabinet press conference. Auckland will stay at Alert Level 3 for another week, this will be reviewed next Monday.
Waikato will stay in Level 3 until 11.59pm Thursday 14 October, a move down will be confirmed if it's safe to do so. Northland will also remain in Alert Level 3 for a further three days until 11.59pm Thursday, October 14. Cabinet will review the settings on Wednesday.
New Zealand is at its "trickiest and most challenging" moment in the pandemic, Ardern said. Which is why restrictions need to be maintained until vaccination levels are increased.
Cabinet has also decided that vaccinations will be mandatory for large numbers of the health and education work forces.
Last week’s “Road Map” announcement did little to ease the stress and uncertainty for business owners across the country, and for those in Auckland in particular. Hospitality NZ Chief Executive Julie White called it devastating, saying it will be like a slow death for many businesses across the sector.
White also noted that the association is sill waiting for a response to suggestions for support presented to the government in the middle of September, they include:
- Making the wage subsidy available to all hospitality businesses at level 2 as long as the business can show their revenue is down by at least 40 percent.
- Paying the Resurgence Support Payment more frequently to businesses impacted more by the lockdown at level 2 and higher. Where revenue is down 71 percent-100 percent, the payment can be claimed on a weekly basis; 51 percent-70 percent, every 2 weeks; 30 percent-50 percent, every 3 weeks.
- Issuing Targeted Travel Vouchers, which would be funded centrally and allocated regionally to stimulate targeted regional support where, when, and to the businesses/sectors who need it.
“The hospitality workforce is under enormous stress from uncertainty and financial concerns resulting in mental toll, fatigue and depression, and that would go a long way to helping people cope,” White expressed.
“Without the kind of targeted support we have suggested, I fear for the livelihood and mental health of many, many businesses, families and employees across New Zealand.”
With experts noting that it won’t be until the end of the week before cases infected after pandemic restrictions were eased in Auckland appear in the daily case numbers, there is fear that the region still won’t be any more open next week.
A push to get Kiwis vaccinated is really the only way back to any sort of normality.