Local leaders and event organisers are welcoming the Whanganui region's return to Covid-19 alert level 1.
After a week at alert level 2, all of New Zealand, except Auckland, returned to level 1 from 6am Sunday, March 7, with Auckland moving from level 3 to level 2.
Mayor Hamish McDouall said it was a really welcome move.
"I really hope it's the last time to level 2. If it's not we can handle it, but I feel sorry for those event organisers."
McDouall said events like the Pride Week celebrations, Whanganui Arts Review launch, local government meetings, Hops & Vines craft beer and wine festival and other events were cancelled, postponed or held online due to alert level 2.
"You just want them to happen. It just postpones the stress and all the preparation you have to re-do."
But in the grand scheme of things, McDouall said the regions were quite lucky compared with Auckland.
"Whilst it's annoying for us, it would be kind of unimaginable to have gone to level 3 three times so it's a really welcome move."
He asked locals to keep doing what they are doing around personal responsibility and hygiene standards.
"If you're sick, please stay home."
With Sound Valley music festival and other events on the horizon, McDouall said organisers will be relieved and excited.
"They really give a sense of bounce to the whole community so hopefully they can all happen and truck through autumn."
Whilst a move to level 2 again would be frustrating, people should remain ready for the possibility, he said.
"One hundred per cent. With these different variants that are more infectious, who knows. I'm very much hoping the vaccinations with border workers and now health professionals should create extra layers of security.
"After that, I hope the vaccination is rolled out to the vulnerable population across the country. I'll certainly be getting my vaccination when it comes, but I'm hoping I'm well down the list because there are other people that will need it for their personal safety and New Zealand's safety."
Whanganui MP Steph Lewis said after seven days with no new community cases, the move down the levels was the right one.
"That is obviously encouraging. If the health officials believe this to be the right move, it is."
Lewis said despite the alert level shift people should remain cautious and not get complacent.
"We've all worked so hard to get this far, we don't want to go backwards."
Lewis urged all businesses to have their QR codes in easy, accessible places so the public could do their part.
"Keep scanning wherever you go. Bluetooth isn't enough. I ask businesses to have their codes at the front of the shop so people can scan easily."
After the postponement of their Hops & Vines festival on Saturday, March 6, organiser Gioia Damosso, of Lost Art Events, is relieved about the level change with music festival Sound Valley coming up on March 13-14.
"It's obviously upsetting we didn't get to run Hops & Vines and if we couldn't do this [Sound Valley], that would be really hard. It would be sad when you have put a year's work into it for it all not to go ahead."
After having Sound Valley postponed once due to alert level changes, Damosso hopes this week runs smoothly and they have the green light.
"I'm happy we live in a country where we go hard and fast and try shut it down. The last two times we went up in alert levels, it was really short notice.
"Those previous times, we thought we would be going ahead [with the event] a week out. So you never know, but our fingers are crossed."
Damosso said as summer was wrapping up, this was the last weekend they could run the event.
"If it was to be cancelled, we would be looking at something next summer."
Damosso said she understood it was frustrating for those who have bought tickets and can't attend the new date, but asked the community to continue its support.
"A lot of people are disappointed as they could make the original February 21 date and not the new date on March 13. I understand the frustrations and we are trying all we can.
"Please be patient and supportive, we are trying to do awesome things in Whanganui and community support goes a long way."