Northland moving to Covid alert level 1 will be good for business, especially those in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and increase public confidence, Northland business leaders say.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday announced plans to move Auckland from its Covid level 2.5 and the rest of the country from level 2.
The Cabinet will review Auckland's settings on September 21 with a view to increasing gathering limits in Auckland if it is deemed safe, which would come into effect on September 23.
The Cabinet will also look at moving the rest of the country to level 1, which would come into effect at 11.59pm on that day - September 21.
The level 1 move has been agreed to in principle but relies on cases tracking as they have been, which would signal diminishing risk of someone carrying Covid-19 from Auckland to a different part of the country.
If that risk remained high enough, protections outside of Auckland would still be needed.
Auckland, the centre of the current outbreak, will stay at alert level "2.5", with a stricter social-gatherings limit of 10 people except for funerals and tangi, which allow 50 people.
While the rest of the country is at alert level 2, social gatherings of up to 100 people are permitted.
Northland Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve Smith and Northland Inc CEO both said Northland moving to level 1 was good news that would benefit business and increase public confidence. It would also lift any associated gloom from being in level 2, they said.
Smith said level 1 would likely see more people from Auckland and elsewhere come to Northland, which would help the hospitality and tourism sectors - both of which had been hit hardest by the various lockdowns.
''It will also give people more confidence and increase people's morale, it will also relieve some of the anxiety people have had,'' he said.
It should also give people more faith in organising large events, or rescheduling big events that have been cancelled.
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''From a chamber perspective we didn't cancel our major - the Westpac Northland Business Champions planned for November 6, but we can restart our Business After Five and our Industry After Five events which can attract well over 100 people.''
Reade said the move down to level 1 would be great news for Northland, and the rest of the country.
''It's fantastic. Any move down a level will have a big impact on the economy and people's general wellbeing,'' he said.
''It's great for hospitality and tourism and will really boost people's confidence. And it's good that Auckland people will still be able to come north.''
Reade said the Government had to make a fine balance between health and the economy and seems to have largely got it right, so far.
''It all bodes really well.''