Sue Peat says it will be great when we can see people out enjoying coffee together.

Epic Te Puke chairwoman Sue is looking forward to the day Te Puke town centre looks something like normal, and believes next week's drop down to alert level 3 is the first step in making that happen.

Under level 3 restrictions, essential businesses are able to operate, but only in a limited, contactless, way.

''More stores will be able to operate with click and collect and it looks like we are going to be getting more food venues operating,'' she says.


''The tricky thing is, they are just going to have to play it by ear because who knows how profitable it's going to be for them and that is something they are going to have to weigh up.

''But how good for the town to be able to get cafes operating because it's pretty tricky for people out there at the moment.''

Sue says the move to level 3 from 11.59pm on Monday is heading in the right direction.

''It's nice that we are starting to come out of this lockdown and the likelihood that we will be at level 2 before too long is quite encouraging, particularly for the hospitality people in the town because they are the ones that have been quite severely affected, just because their margins are so slim.''

With non-essential goods now available, people will have more retail options, although they will have to either be delivered or collected in a contactless way.

''It's even good for businesses like hair salons that can't open but may be able to sell product now.''

Sue believes that as alert levels change, there will be a lot of support for retailers.

''I'm hoping that when we come out of this it is going to be positive for local [retailers] because people are going to be less inclined to travel too far for a while and they might get to experience what local shopping's all about. Fingers crossed that is going to be a positive for retailers who do struggle with the fact that they don't get as much support as they would like locally.''

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Alert level 3 rules also allow for on-site work for the building and construction sector, provided there is a Covid-19 control plan in place, with appropriate health and safety and physical distancing measures for staff and building occupants.

Work is permitted in occupied buildings or homes, with extra safety measures and physical distancing protocols in place.