Alert Level 1 has arrived and Clutha businesses are quickly adapting.
Hotel South Otago manager Andrew De Geest said it was great hearing on Monday afternoon that the Prime Minster had announced the country would go down to Alert Level 1 on Tuesday morning.
“It will sure make life much more easier in the hospitality industry, as it had been different, but we are looking forward to the new openness of the country,” Mr De Geest said.
The Government advised that under Alert Level 1 everyone is able to return without restriction to work, school, sports and domestic travel, and you can get together with as many people as you want.
However, physical distancing is still ‘‘encouraged’’ at level one.
Gatherings of any size would also be allowed to take place, including funerals and tangihanga.
Intensive testing for Covid-19 will continue to take place, contact tracing efforts will remain and the Government will encourage people to use ‘‘contact diaries’’, in case of another outbreak.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there were still risks for another outbreak, including asymptomatic transmission and because of the coming winter.
Contact tracing has become one of the bugbears of shoppers, as Roots owner operator Emma Hutton has noticed in recent weeks.
“Everyone is so over it, it will be great not having to do it every day as shoppers are beginning to ignore it and social distancing in shops.”
“Although I have noticed some shoppers are still very hesitant and appear to lack the confidence to go into a shop if they see a number of people already in there, social distancing is something we have grown used to and it may take a while to get over it,”
Mrs Hutton said she will be keeping the hand sanitiser out and available for customers.
The chef at the Gate Cafe, Olivier Morrison, believes the lowering of the alert level will give more people the confidence to go out, shop, socialise and visit places.
“It should be great for our local tourism as it will give people a massive confidence boost to venture out and about,” Mr Morrison said.