Hallelujah! Northland's business leaders and sports organisations are chomping at the bit for a chance to go full steam now that the country has moved to alert level 1.
The change in alert level came into force at midnight last night which means that events such as funerals, hospitality and public transport can all resume without any restrictions.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's announcement yesterday on level 1 came just two hours after health officials confirmed the country now has no active Covid-19 cases.
"Hallelujah. It's really solid news and it means aspects of businesses can get back to something approaching normality," Northland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stephen Smith said.
Despite the easing of restrictions, the country's borders will remain closed with mandatory isolation and quarantine measures still in place.
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Smith said level 1 would give businesses the confidence to start promoting their products and to spend money on advertising.
He was not surprised restrictions were eased hours after Ardern's announcement, saying people were losing a bit of patience and were signalling to the Government to get back to normality.
John Maurice, owner of Kaikohe's Bank Bar and Northland chairman of Hospitality NZ, said the move to level 1 was long overdue.
"I just hope all stops are off and we can start to get back to operating normally. There'll be no ridiculous single serving and spacing restrictions. Dance floors will be open and bands can start playing again."
Maurice had questioned why bars were being singled out when New Zealand moved down to level 2 in mid-May.
Northland Events Centre Trust chairman Phil Halse said the venue was ready to host guests after having to let go a number of high profile events during the lockdown.
They included the Fritter Festival on March 28 and the Blues vs Jaguares Super Rugby game on April 18.
"We have to make sure we water the fields, the caterers are up to standard so, as a trust, we welcome the opportunity to go out and seek new events."
Northland Rugby Union chief executive Cameron Bell said his staff were waiting to see the details in terms of the guidelines under level 1.
"The announcement has got to be a massive positive. Our community has been incredibly supportive of requirements under level 2 and level 3 and we hope this will signal lifting of restrictions."
Bell said some rugby clubs around Northland have organised pre-season trial games under level 2 this weekend which could go ahead under existing protocols.
Senior rugby is scheduled to start on June 20.
Kiwis can do and go wherever they like, but Prime Minister Ardern asked that they keep a diary to track their movements.
She also encouraged businesses to display QR codes at their doors so customers could continue to keep a "digital diary", as manually signing in would no longer be required.
Every public sector worker is being asked to return to their place of work, but with allowances for flexibility, to allow CBDs to thrive again.
Ardern said the reason there was not 48 hours' notice of the move to level 1 was because businesses didn't need to prepare for restrictions. Now restrictions remained only at New Zealand's borders.