“The Government’s phased introduction of Alert Level 2 will be welcomed by New Zealanders who want to get back to normality, but the lack of clarity for business means that, once again, the country is ready before the Government”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Today’s decision will be particularly hard on bars who won’t be able to open for at least another nine days, but the wider uncertainty about rules for all kinds of businesses means they may be open, but not profitably.
“The data shows there is no good reason to delay the entire country’s transition to Level 2. If anything, Level 2 should have been brought forward. As with the transition from Level 4 to Level 3, the country is ready, but the Government is not.
“The last four days’ test results show that more than 28,000 people who thought they were ill have been tested, with only eight testing positive, and almost all linked to known clusters or overseas arrivals.
“These test results now fully reflect Level 3 conditions. We know the country is safe to be discharged from the Prime Minister’s so-called ‘waiting room’.
“The Prime Minister needs to explain why all of New Zealand can’t move to Level 2. New Zealanders have a right to know what is happening, and why, so they can start to plan.
“The private sector now needs certainty about Level 2 rules. Businesses still don’t have industry-specific guidance, despite the fact that, for some, a new Alert Level is only 48 hours away.
“Although the Government has provided generic rules for Level 2, the COVID-19 website says specific guidance for each sector is still being developed by MBIE and WorkSafe.
“We’ve heard from several private sector organisations that MBIE has not consulted with them to develop Level 2 rules. That is deeply concerning.
“The Government needs to urgently clarify Level 2 rules so the private sector can get back to work quickly and painlessly.”