Tourism Industry Aotearoa has joined the calls for the Government to drop the looming increase in the minimum wage as it put itself in "full crisis mode" in the wake of wide-ranging travel bans.
Just two days after calling for travel restrictions on China to be immediately limited to only the original epicentre of Covid-19, Hubei province, TIA chief executive Chris Roberts delivered a grim assessment of Ardern's move.
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He is pleading the Government for both financial and mental health support.
"These are very bold steps and will hopefully have successful health outcomes, but the impact on tourism and the wider economy is dramatic," Roberts said in an email to members on Sunday.
"There is going to be a lot of pain across our industry. Tens of thousands of jobs are at risk and hundreds, if not thousands, of tourism businesses are facing real threats to their survival."
TIA was "going into full crisis mode" in what he described as an "unprecedented event".
Roberts called for the minimum wage increase to be postponed "unless this is addressed in the government's business continuity package" which is expected to be announced on Tuesday.
"This package must be substantial, to ensure that we can keep people in jobs and keep businesses afloat."
The Government's decision to require almost all international visitors to self-isolate for 14 days from 1am this morning is expected to lead overseas visitor numbers to fall to close to zero.
Air New Zealand has announced dramatic cuts, with other airlines expected to slash services.
"There is no doubt that to restrict the spread of Covid-19, capacity across our flight networks will be substantially reduced and there will likely be further reductions announced in the next few days as the situation evolves," Captain Andrew Ridling, president of the Airline Pilots' Association said in a statement on Sunday.
"Initially we expect offshore airlines to stop flying to New Zealand in the short term and some reductions in flights will occur in the domestic network."
Roberts said after an emergency meeting with officials he was left with pressing questions.
"The rules around self-isolation are unclear and need urgent clarification, especially for commercial accommodation providers. We are asking the Ministry of Health for an urgent update to their advice for hotels and hotel staff," he said.
"Tomorrow's announcement on mass gatherings will also have considerable impacts on our industry and we will share this information with you as soon as we can."
Roberts also called for "mental health support" from the Government.
"This crisis is not just about finances – business owners and employees are under huge stress and need access to counselling and other mental health services."