The drop to alert level 1 cannot come soon enough for Rotorua bar owners who say they are more than ready for dancing patrons and fostering musicians.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed on Wednesday that once the country moves to alert level 1, all social distancing restrictions at bars, restaurants, churches and sports stadium, community sporting events and funerals would be lifted.
Strict border controls would still be in force, she said.
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Ardern also unveiled her 10 gold rules of alert level 1, which included keeping track of where people had been and isolating immediately if told to do so by authorities.
Cabinet would review the alert level status on Monday.
The Pig and Whistle owner Gregg Brown said he was not just looking forward to dancing but quiz nights as well which had not been able to operate with social distancing restrictions.
The pub was operating with 60 per cent of its normal seating, Brown said, due to the restrictions.
"All of this helps us revert to normal and hopefully we won't be making a loss, which we have been.
"It will help us survive really, which I'm sure we'll do. You get a good feeling, that when we go to level 1, trade will be good, but the sooner the better for us."
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Musicians had also been on Brown's mind, and he said he was looking forward to giving them "pocket money" again.
Rotorua Social Club owner Lucas Fleury said he was looking forward to living up to the bar's name and being social again.
"We tried to do the best we could to adapt what we were already doing for Covid-19. One thing that was very key was to hire musicians again because a lot of them have no work.
"So as soon as we opened we did have music like we used to but we had our DJs in a much more chill environment, like a lounge setting where people could be drinking and sitting down."
Fleury said while it was at times labouring, serving patrons sitting down was the Social Club's business model, so it was good practice.
"But if there was no more room to sit, then we couldn't allow people into the venue anymore so we are excited about level one coming."