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Friday 03 December 2021

Delta deals “devastating” blow to hospitality

18th August 2021 By Bridget O'Connell | | @foodtickernz

Hospitality leaders agree with the snap lockdown to deal with Delta, but said it was “more devastating news” for businesses that have already borne the brunt of Covid-19 lockdowns.

Most of the country went into a Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown at 11.59pm on Tuesday for three days following a community case, meaning all restaurants, cafes and bars had to close. The Auckland and Coromandel regions would be in lockdown for seven days.

Seven cases of the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19 have been identified as of midday Wednesday.

Julie White

“This will be another big blow for struggling businesses, though they’re not the only ones, and we know it’s necessary,” said Hospitality New Zealand chief executive Julie White.

She said the association met with its counterparts in Australia last week, so knew “first hand just how dire things are there as they deal with the Delta variant, and we want to avoid that”.

“So there’s no alternative but to go into level 4, however much that’s going to hurt,” White said.

“Hospitality New Zealand will be supporting our members, and particularly those in Auckland who have struggled through three previous lockdowns, as best we can through the coming days.”

The snap lockdown announced by prime minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday evening also caused disruption for the organisers of food and beverage events including the month-long Wellington On a Plate, which is being held at venues across the capital.

“Any festival events and bookings you may have made for Visa Welly On a Plate venues will be on hold for the next three days, with a reassessment made in line with government advice,” organisers said in a statement posted on Facebook.

“We know people will be disappointed, however the safety and wellbeing of our hospitality community, our staff and festival goers is of utmost importance and concern.”

The organisers added that it was working through the calendar of festival events and looking to reschedule those affected by the lockdown.



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