December 5, 2021

Retail, public facilities to open as parts of Waikato move to Step 2

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In spite of five more Covid-19 positive cases today in Waikato, the region will move to Step 2 from 11:59pm on Tuesday, 2 November. Auckland remains at Step 1 for now and will shift to these same settings next Tuesday 9 November at 11:59pm.

This was announced by Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern at her televised media conference this afternoon.

“It’s because of high vaccination rates that we can move forward with confidence, but public health measures remain extremely important as we ease restrictions,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The public advice we’ve had is that opening up retail doesn’t lead to a marked increase of cases…We also know that when people gather outside, are socially distanced and people wear masks, the risk of transmission is substantially lowered,” Prime Minister said.

While most of the restrictions remain as in Step 1, the following are some of the main changes in Step 2:

  • Retail business can open, with customers keeping 2 metres apart, and staff and customers required to wear face coverings
  • Food courts inside shopping malls must continue to offer contactless pick-up or delivery options only. Customers cannot consume food or drink inside a shopping mall
  • Fruit and vegetable markets can reopen
  • Workers in retail must wear a face covering
  • Customers who enter retail premises must also wear a face covering when shopping in store
  • Outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people can go ahead, with the removal of the 2-household restriction. Physical distancing is strongly encouraged to help prevent the virus spreading between households
  • Public facilities like libraries and museums can reopen, with face coverings required. There are no restrictions on the number of customers that can be inside — as long as everyone can safely stay 2 metres apart
  • Outdoor organised exercise classes, like yoga and bootcamps, can expand to 25 people, including instructors, with 2-metre physical distancing required.
  • If you can work from home, then you should continue to do so
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, bars, restaurants and takeaway stores must remain contactless 
  • Nightclubs must remain closed
  • Event and entertainment venues such as cinemas, theatres or casinos must remain closed
  • Hairdressers, barbers and businesses offering close contact personal care services such as massage or beauty treatments must remain closed