The Government has announced it will increase the numbers of people allowed to gather at the hospitality venues if Auckland moves down to alert level 3 on Tuesday night.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the number of people who can gather in restaurants and bars will increase from 50 to 100 in other parts of the country.
Hospitality New Zealand has welcomed the announcement referring it to "a light at the end of the tunnel".
"Changing the alert level 2 settings from 50 people to 100 people for some hospitality operators will be a game-changer," chief executive Julie White said.
"Operators will now be able to offer more hours to staff and keep the doors open and lights on. For some operators they will now be able to afford to operate without haemorrhaging costs, it's as simple as that.
"It will also make a difference for how people connect and celebrate occasions. The move to increased numbers is welcomed by the industry and a much-needed boost in the arm - finally a light at the end of the tunnel," White said.
From Friday, Auckland businesses who aren't able to operate due to the level 4 lockdown could be eligible for a fortnight of the wage subsidy, and a further round of the resurgence support payments.
"If you think you might be eligible for assistance, tap into what's there," Ardern said after saying Auckland will remain at level 4 until midnight next Tuesday at least, although the Government has made an "in-principle decision" that Auckland will drop down to level three then," Ardern said.
Restaurant Association of New Zealand national president Mike Egan said today's announcement of allowing more people in the hospitality venues was a "great announcement".
But the number of people allowed in the restaurant should be based on the size of the venue, he said.
"Any increase is good, it would be quite good too because there are even bigger restaurants that can space people safely more than a hundred, unfortunately, they [government] seems to think once size fits all," he said.
The total capacity of Egan's Wellington restaurant, Monsoon Poon, had a maximum capacity of 100 people but now with social distancing, he can accommodate 80 people, he said.
Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois said the increased number would be a "relief" to most businesses but it was still restrictive.
"The 50-person limit has been largely unworkable for business so there will be a lot of relief from the industry at the increase in capacity numbers. Level 2 does still come with spacing restrictions, however, which continues to put limitations on our business," she said.