From midday today, the Government's Covid-19 alert level 2 rules around social gatherings will be relaxed, meaning groups of up to 100 people are permitted - albeit still with social distancing requirements.
This will have a profound effect for many individuals and organisations who felt short-changed by the stringent social distancing measures of the past weeks, and upset and confused by the disparities.
Notably, churches will be able to hold services with more of their congregations, family and friends will be able to gather in larger numbers - including for significant events like tangi/funerals which had been limited to 10, then 50 people, and for weddings. Although large concerts are still out, planners will certainly look forward to being able to cater to some events, and it will enable easier operations for the likes of community sport organisations.
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It is certainly another step in the right direction towards normalising our lives, which have been upended by the global pandemic, and has only been possible thanks to the public's adherence to the strict measures under levels 3 and 4, and the efforts of a range of officials and workers, which have kept the virus tracked and contained and seemingly well on the way to being eliminated.
More than two months after the country went into full lockdown, the prospect of another month of any restrictions may seem unbearable to some and frustrating for many - particularly as our active case numbers are rapidly reducing, and the number of new cases is miniscule and tied to known clusters.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said Cabinet will review the alert level 2 settings on June 8, and "no later than June 22" it will consider a move to level 1 - based on the current advice from Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.
It is clear there is official disagreement, however, most vocally from NZ First leader and Deputy PM Winston Peters, who thinks we should be in level 1 - and a transtasman travel bubble without quarantine - now.
Yet, after coming this far and so well when compared with most countries, it is clear the Labour-led Government is not going to throw caution to the wind and is confident it is leading the way in opening up the economy and easing social gathering settings.
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The health advice is that the picture only becomes clearer after each two-week incubation period passes, and only after a full month can we have the greatest reassurance there is no re-emergence of Covid-19, most importantly in the general community.
The fear remains of a "long tail" on the virus, and asymptomatic community transmission;
therefore, slow and steady remains the approach.
So, until at least June 22 (a change to level 1 would still likely take a few days to come into effect after it is announced), we need to play by the level 2 rules. Social distancing, health and hygiene and contact tracing remain important. But the move to larger gatherings from today is certainly a bonus, and allows for a range of shared and significant events and activities.
Use the next month wisely and well, embrace the larger gatherings offered, but also remember to continue supporting local businesses wherever possible, as it will be make-or-break time for many of those who have managed to weather the Covid storm so far.