New Zealand has confirmed ticketed large events, including domestic business events and conferences, can now go ahead with a 100-person limit.
It comes after Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), last week, said it had sought an exemption from the Ardern government’s designation of mass gatherings for events.
Welcoming the announcement, CINZ chief executive Lisa Hopkins said it was an acknowledgment by government that business events should be viewed differently to social gatherings.
“This helps the New Zealand business events sector restart for domestic attendees, and is the first step in the right direction,” Hopkins said.
The current caps across all aspects of New Zealand business and social gatherings are for the first stage of the country’s COVID-19 Alert Level 2, and will be revisited on 25 May.
Currently, events would be required to utilise a one-metre distancing requirement, contact tracing, good hygiene procedures, and have food and drink meet hospitality provisions.
Hopkins said it remained unclear when the limit on event attendees, set by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health, would be raised.
“Keeping numbers low, for now, will help New Zealand be able to respond swiftly and effectively and possibly prevent an increase in restrictions by doing so,” she said.
“From here, the cap may increase in phases, although we don’t have any certainty around if or when these phases might begin, which of course makes planning extremely difficult.”
It comes as the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) continues to push for an exemption from the federal government’s three-step plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions, which did not include any mention of large-scale events returning.
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