Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday that Auckland’s move up Alert Levels would take place in a phased transition.

The three step phasing will mean that hospitality businesses will likely continue to remain closed for a number of weeks.

However, indications are that from Monday, October 11, liquor retail stores can open for customers with the usual measures of face masks and physical distancing.

Phase three – with a date yet to be announced – will see hospitality (including bars, pubs and clubs) able to open, but with the precaution of seated, and separated, and with a limit of 50 people.

“Phasing amounts to a careful and methodical transition plan for Auckland,” said Ardern at Monday’s press conference.

The Prime Minister also confirmed that the Wage Subsidy will continue to be available on the current settings.

“Auckland is still for the most part at Alert Level 3 settings, and therefore the policy rationale for the continuation of the Wage Subsidy has been met,” she said.

“As has previously been indicated, the Resurgence Support Payment will be available in three weekly instalments so long as anywhere in the country is at Alert Level 2 settings.”

The government also reassessed the Level 2 settings for the rest of the country, announcing some changes for hospitality.

“Currently we ask hospitality to be seated, and separated with 1 metre between customers. We then overlay a [maximum capacity] on the top.”

Ardern said the view of public health officials is that for the rest of New Zealand, we can remove this cap for hospitality.

Therefore there is no longer a capacity limit – however, the seated, separated and single server rules will continue.

For further information on Auckland’s three-step plan, click here.

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