Nightclubs, cafes and casinos reopen in Auckland when the marathon is over

COVID-19 lockdown restrictions eased in Auckland
FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk through a retail precinct after coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions are being eased in Auckland, New Zealand, November 10, 2021. REUTERS/Fiona Goodall

December 3, 2021

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Aucklanders returned to nightclubs, cinemas and cafes on Friday as New Zealand’s largest city emerged from the pandemic in more than 100 days.

Retailers have opened their doors to customers for vaccinations as the country ends its shutdown and transitions to a new ‘traffic light system’ that rates areas as red, orange or green depending on the severity. exposure to COVID-19 and their vaccination rates.

Auckland, the epicenter of the country’s Delta outbreak, will start to look red, making it mandatory to wear masks and limit gatherings in public places.

Bars, nightclubs and restaurants can open to guests with vaccination certificates, but with a limit of 100 people and social distancing of 1m. Outdoor events are allowed.

“I’ve missed it so much, I can’t wait to break the Guinness record and enjoy the boogie,” said one Auckland nightclub attendee.

Coupled with geographical isolation, New Zealand enforced some of the strictest pandemic restrictions among OECD countries in 2020, keeping the country largely COVID-19 free and helping its economy. of this country recovered faster than many other countries.

But it failed to control this year’s outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant and shifted to a strategy of living with the virus with vaccination and other measures. Around 90% of eligible Aucklanders are now fully immunized.

Auckland’s domestic border curbs are still in place and will be relaxed on December 15 to allow people to travel around the country for Christmas and the summer holidays.

With an average of 150 new Delta cases reported each week, mostly in Auckland, the reopening has raised concerns that COVID-19 will spread faster across the country and pose a risk to Maori communities. disadvantaged

But for now, businesses are cheering the move.

“It’s a beautiful space we have and it’s great to be able to reopen to the neighbourhood, which is great,” said Nigel Cottle, owner of Auckland-based cafe ‘Crave’.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Lincoln Feast) Nightclubs, cafes and casinos reopen in Auckland when the marathon is over


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