Business groups in the country are asking for an ongoing financial support from the Government for the sectors which can't operate in full capacity during alert level 3 lockdown.
Today Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country will move down to alert level 3 after midnight Tuesday until September 6, except for Auckland and Northland.
Auckland will be at alert level 4 at least until midnight on September 13. And Northland will move down a level at midnight Thursday if the wastewater tests - which are due on Thursday - come back clear.
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Leeann Watson said it was good that most of the country would move down an alert level but ongoing support was still necessary for the business during level 3.
"We do need to acknowledge that at Alert Level 3 and even at Alert Level 2, there will be businesses that are still unable to operate, or if they are, then it may be at a reduced capacity that may not be cost-effective.
"It will be crucial that there is ongoing support for those sectors such as hospitality, tourism and major events that rely on face-to-face customer interactions."
The Government has provided financial help to businesses such as resurgence support payment and the wage subsidy scheme, with the second branch of wage subsidy kicking in from September 3.
Watson said it was not enough.
"Salary and wages are only one of the financial overheads experienced by businesses, who also have to cover rent, insurance, and so on."
She said the businesses were still recovering from the first major lockdown in March 2020, compounded by a winter season that is typically slower for these sectors, and exasperated further by closed borders and no international visitors.
The local support the businesses were getting won't be enough and in some cases, small business may not be able to remain viable, she said.
Watson said the lockdown in Auckland doesn't not only affect the city, but it also puts stress on the economy for the whole country.
"We also know that every time Auckland is in lockdown this also has a significant impact on many local businesses.
"In the early 2020 lockdown, the loss of income from Auckland travellers was costing the Canterbury region $1 million a day according to Government data, including $850,000 in Ōtautahi Christchurch - and they've been in three lockdowns so far, including this extended one."
Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois said businesses doing it hardest, should be fairly compensated for their sacrifice.
"The Auckland hospitality industry, in particular, is paying a heavy price for the elimination strategy.
"Our most recent feedback from members shows that whilst they largely support the level 4 lockdown, 75 per cent of those businesses wouldn't be financially viable after two weeks at this level.
"What continues to be pushed under the carpet is the crippling losses that so many industries unable to operate at levels 4 and 3 are facing."
She said the members of the association were happy with Northland coming down to level 3 on Thursday but there should be more financial help for the industry, particularly those establishments in Auckland.
"Our industry knows what it needs to do to help us to eliminate Covid-19 once again, but we feel that there should be specific compensation offered to those who stand to lose the most."
Operational rules for business during alert level 3 lockdown.
Businesses that require close physical contact cannot open.
All other businesses can operate, but with restrictions. This includes physical distancing, having extra hygiene measures and contactless options for ordering, pick-up, delivery and payment.
If your business does not have measures in place to operate safely, then you should close.
Your business legally must be contactless. Your customers can pay online, over the phone or in a contactless way. Delivery or pick-up legally must also be contactless.
Customers cannot come on to your premises — unless you are a:
• Petrol station
• Health service
• Bank or financial institution — in person customer transactions can only happen if online or phone banking options are not possible.
• Hardware or DIY store— these can open to trade customers only.
Businesses that cannot open at alert level 3
• Farmers markets
• Entertainment and tourist facilities, for example museums, cinemas, libraries and outdoor adventure activity operators
• Hairdressers and beauty salons
• Gyms and exercise facilities
• In-home cleaners
• Door-to-door sales
• Driving instructors
Customers cannot eat or drink on your premises
If you own or run a business where staff cannot work from home, make sure:
• Employees keep 1 metre apart
• Customers stay 2 metres apart, including when waiting in line to pick up a contactless order. If your business is allowed customers on site and physical distancing is difficult, you may need to implement a "one-in, one out" policy
• You provide hygiene and cleaning products so workers can clean and disinfect shared surfaces, and wash and dry their hands.
• You display your QR code and have an alternative contact tracing system for people who cannot access a smartphone.
Your employees legally must wear a face covering at work if:
• They work in an alert level 3 business or service that has customer contact, for example supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitality venues, takeaways, and petrol stations
• They are a delivery driver to residential addresses
• They drive a taxi or ride-share vehicle
• You are an accommodation
• They work in the public-facing area of a court or tribunal
• You are a local or central government agency, or a social service provider with a customer service counter
Travelling for work
Business or work travel across alert level 4 and alert level 3 boundaries is strictly limited. You may only travel across the alert level 4 and alert level 3 boundary if that travel is permitted. You also need to make sure your workers have acceptable evidence that they are permitted to cross the boundary.
Queenstown Airport said that at alert level 3 there are no scheduled commercial services or commercial general aviation activities at Queenstown or Wanaka airports. Essential travel/services will be facilitated as required and terminals are closed to all non-essential personnel and to members of the public