After the recent easing of restrictions on social gatherings and travel, the New Zealand government has confirmed domestic business events and conferences can now go ahead with a 100-person limit.
New guidelines for New Zealand state that large ticketed events and business events must be seated with a one-metre distancing requirement, they must allow for contact tracing, have physical distancing in place, good hygiene procedures, and any food and drink must meet the hospitality provisions.
Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) chief executive, Lisa Hopkins said the industry welcomes clarity on numbers from the government, and the acknowledgement that business events should be viewed differently to social gatherings.
‚ÄúThis helps the New Zealand business events sector restart for domestic attendees, and is the first step in the right direction,‚ÄĚ Hopkins said.
‚ÄúWe understand the cap on numbers is set by the Ministry of Health based on the ability of public health to be managed in the case of an outbreak, including contact tracing, isolation and critical care facilities.
“An increase in a cap from 100 attendees to 200 attendees, for example, is exponential in risk ‚Äď the contract tracing requirements alone following on from an event becomes much greater, so caps are set at a level where safety can be managed from a public health perspective.
‚ÄúThe Ministry has confirmed this is not a reflection on the ability of event organisers to mitigate risk or fail to do so. It is about allowing New Zealand to keep stamping out Covid-19. 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,‚ÄĚ Hopkins elaborated.
The current caps across all aspects of New Zealand business and social gatherings are for the first stage of Alert Level Two and will be revisited on May 25. There is still no timeframe for when Alert Level 1 will come into place.