Business events under 100 get green light in NZ

The New Zealand Government has confirmed that 100-person ticketed large events, including business events, can now go ahead.

All attendees must stay one-metre apart and contract tracing is essential.

Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins said they welcomed the government’s acknowledgement that business events are different from other social gatherings.

“This helps the New Zealand business events sector restart for domestic attendees and is the first step in the right direction. We look forward to the government’s next review of restrictions in two weeks’ time,” Ms Hopkins said.

The current restrictions on social gatherings in New Zealand will be revisited on 25 May.

New guidelines for New Zealand state that large ticketed events and business events must be seated, they must allow for contact tracing, have physical distancing in place, good hygiene procedures, and any food and drink must meet the hospitality provisions.

“We understand the cap on numbers is set by the Ministry of Health based on the ability of public health to be managed in the case of an outbreak, including contact tracing, isolation and critical care facilities,” Ms Hopkins said.

“An increase in a cap from 100 attendees to 200 attendees, for example, is exponential in risk—the contract tracing requirements alone following on from an event becomes much greater, so caps are set at a level where safety can be managed from a public health perspective.”

“The Ministry has confirmed this is not a reflection on the ability of event organisers to mitigate risk or fail to do so. It is about allowing New Zealand to keep stamping out COVID-19. Keeping numbers low, for now, will help New Zealand be able to respond swiftly and effectively and possibly prevent an increase in restrictions by doing so.”

“From here, the cap may increase in phases, although we don’t have any certainty around if or when these phases might begin, which of course makes planning extremely difficult.”

There is still no timeframe for when Alert Level 1 will come into place. The Government has pledged it will continue to support the events sector in any ongoing discussions about this.