New Zealanders are waking up today ready to start enjoying their first weekend in alert level 2 and properly out of lockdown.
Our freedom of movement is back (nationally, at least), we are free to socialise outside our bubbles (albeit only in groups of 10 or less for now), and the bulk of workers will be returning to the office or workplace on Monday - at the same time as the vast majority of the nation's children also go back to school or early childhood facilities.
The new "safer normal" has begun.
What a difference an alert level makes!
• Covid 19 coronavirus: Alert level 2 at a glance - all you need to know
• Covid 19 coronavirus: Level 2 unveiled - cafes open from Thursday, schools from Monday, bars in 10 days
• Covid 19 coronavirus: The winners and losers of level 2 revealed; Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern talks of 'hardest' part of crisis
• Covid 19 coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern on alert level 2 plans and latest case numbers
For many businesses however, alert level 2 will not reverse the effects of the lockdown, and is instead the start of a long, slow, difficult road to recovery - particularly for those still most affected by social-distancing rules, such as the hospitality sector, and those most impacted by our border closure, notably the aviation and tourism sectors.
Some businesses have managed to hold out, or have been kept afloat by the Government's wage subsidy scheme and other financial support measures but the weeks, months and years ahead will be testing. Businesses will inevitably fail, some may only just remain viable, and it is likely many won't return to comfortable profit margins for a long time.
But, rather than feel helpless and hopeless, this is the time we, as individuals, can make a difference - particularly to small and medium-sized enterprises, the economic backbone of the country.
NZME's "Go Local!" campaign - launched as the country moved into alert level 3 - is a call to action for people and businesses to support local businesses in their community, by buying locally or New Zealand-made products, instead of spending with overseas companies. Now, in level 2, we can start in person supporting the likes of local cafes and restaurants, as well as many more retailers, too.
Many of these smaller operators have needed to innovate almost overnight, developing websites to advertise their goods and services and finding ways to sell and deliver to customers in a contactless manner under level 3, and are now again adjusting to level 2 requirements.
The least we can do for businesses - particularly those of us whose household spending budgets have been less affected - is provide support in a targeted way which gets money flowing again and helps kick-start the economy.
And for those people who have the time, money and ability to travel now domestic restrictions have been lifted, get in behind our "Go NZ!" campaign, too, launched before lockdown started, to highlight the options for staycations in our own backyards.
Is there a favourite place you love escaping to? A place you've always wanted to visit but never got around to, a place you've put off visiting because of the crowds? There's no better time to leave town and see another part of our beautiful country - and support local businesses, tourism operators and accommodation providers while you're there.
Just remember the level 2 rules around physical distancing, congregating, good health and hygiene, and diarying your movements in case contact tracing is required.
We have battled a global health crisis, endured unprecedented social restrictions and are facing the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Our challenges are far from over, but, as our amazing team of five million has shown over the past seven weeks, together we can make a difference.