Covid-19 alert level 1 can't come soon enough for many Whanganui businesses with any further delays leaving many in a precarious position.
The Government will decide on Monday whether the country is ready to move to level 1.
The move to level 1 will mean rules around social distancing and mass gatherings will cease with contact tracing and border closures still in place.
Air Chathams' Duane Emeny believes the country is more than ready to descend to level 1.
"New Zealand has done a pretty good job really. The team of 5 million, have done a really good job of effectively stamping out Covid and I think that the risks for a move to level 1 are low, very low," he said.
"Ultimately, you've got to start really paying attention to the risk of not making that shift (to level 1) and that's really around the economy and some of the other indirect health issues."
Closing the country for two months was always going to leave the economy in a tough spot, Emeny said.
"I think we really need to focus on rebuilding our domestic economy and putting New Zealand in a really good footing to move forward in a positive way once the international borders slowly start to open once again."
Air Chathams has been operating almost 70 flights per week across it's North Island network under level 2, as opposed to over 100 pre-Covid.
"On top of that we have had the requirement of social distancing on our flights. Especially for Whanganui operating the 34-seat aircraft, we had to restrict that initially to 25 seats maximum.
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"That's obviously a big handicap on the airline under level 2. Moving to level 1 environment, we won't have that anymore which will make life a bit easier in terms of our ability to make flights viable."
Emeny said a move to level 1 will give confidence to Kiwis to start moving around the country and resume normality.
Splash Centre Manager Dave Campbell said it had been great seeing regulars under level 2, but are ready to fully re-open under level 1.
"Keeping the facility closed for recreation or fun swimming has been difficult as kids and some adults are wanting to just come in to have some fun," he said.
"It would be great to get back to some sort of normality if we keep on tracking the way we are.
"Level 1 for us means we are back up and hydro slides are running. Kids are back in enjoying the Mitre 10 Mega run, people are enjoying the steam room and sauna again, and we're able to get schools back in."
Whanganui's most prominent nightclub, Stellar, is hoping a move to level 1 "happens as soon as possible.".
"Trading is down 50 per cent from the same time last year," owner Johny Singh said.
"It is very frustrating and very stressful. Stress levels are really high. There is no clarity with what is going to happen."
A move to level 1 would mean people would no longer need to be seated, drinks could be ordered at the bar and tables wouldn't need a single server, allowing for more turnover and customers to come through.
Staying at level 2 for any longer has Singh worried about the future.
"When you buy a business, you want to look at the future and want to see what it looks like in five years' time. Now, it's like are we still going to be here in five years' time. Things are changing so rapidly."
Hotels and motels are hoping moving down to level 1 will see more Kiwis travelling around the country and corporate bookings will return as life moves towards normality.
Aotea Motor Lodge owner Maree Bonner said they had been getting a lot of people who had booked overseas trips and had decided to travel domestically.
"We had a lot of people from Wellington that always by-passed Whanganui. They've never been to Whanganui before, they turn off at Bulls and stay on the main highway."
Bonner sees a move to level 1 as the next obvious step and the increased freedom should see both tourists and corporate bookings pick up.
"We are still a bit patchy through the week because the corporates are double-checking everything and most clients aren't flying yet, which is holding us back."
Whanganui 151 on London Motel owner Rolla Tu said the last few weeks had been particularly tough as people hadn't been travelling and corporate bookings and contracting jobs hadn't fully picked up yet.
"Definitely lower than normal, no doubt about that."
Tu notes other local motels have been dropping their prices, making it difficult to compete.
"Very difficult this year. I understand why they have dropped the price, but they dropped it too low and have made problems for everyone in the Whanganui motel business."
Tu said hospitality businesses around the country were feeling the pain at the moment.
"Very difficult for people when occupancy is low because then people put on a huge discount, but all of the overheads and costs remain the same.
"The wage subsidy has been great because it has allowed us to retain our workers."
Tu said moving to level 1 should see an uptick in business as people will be moving around more freely and contracting and commercial jobs pick up.
"Level 1 will give people more faith and people will be more confident to go out. Otherwise if we stay at level 2, people may still worry and stay at home."