The Government has announced that New Zealand can safely move out of Alert Level 4 lockdown at 11.59pm on Monday 27 April.
We are still in Alert Level 4 until then. We will hold at Alert Level 3 for two weeks, before Cabinet reviews how we are tracking and makes further decisions on 11 May.
The shift to Level 3 is not hugely different for a lot of people, but it will give a huge proportion of businesses an opportunity to start trading again in some way and get some cash flowing again. This week can be used to reenter premises to start preparing for trade next week for those that can. We expect there will be a initial flurry of spending in the first few days after the level change, which will get much-needed cash into the economy. After that initial flurry, sales will quieten off for a while. For this reason, you may wish to ensure you are in a position to cash in on the initial surge.
Which industries will be able to reopen?
Level 3 is heavily restricted but allows businesses to trade if they can operate in a safe way that limits personal interactions and abides by the Health & Safety guidelines. This includes:
- Food and Takeaways – through contactless methods such as drive through, delivery and click and collect.
- Retail – through contactless methods such as online delivery and click and collect.
- Road maintenance
- Forestry and other primary industries that could not trade at Alert Level 4.
- Trades – Builders, plumbers and electricians etc will be able to visit peoples homes but must keep a distance from their customers.
- Real estate – there will not be any open homes, but some activity can recommence.
What industries will not be able to start yet?
Unfortunately, these industries that will be very limited in what they can do. These include:
- On-premise hospitality
- Tourism and recreation sectors
- Retail stores (with no or limited online presence).
We expect further Government support will be announced to these affected sectors as they are large employers.
Food and retail
If your business has a limited online footprint, then it is probably too late to fully scale up your online presence before Level 3 arrives. However, if nothing else, you should get in the market selling at least some of the things that you are most famous for.
Channels for selling your products online could include:
- Existing e-commerce platforms such as TradeMe;
- Creating your own online store through the likes of Shopify;
- Marketing through social media. Have friends and family share posts about the things you are selling.
Now more than ever, people are going to want to support local business, so it is important that you give them that opportunity. Your loyal customers will know you are suffering, and they will want to support you.
If you are in business in Whangarei, jump onto the What’s next Whangarei? Facebook page.
Health and safety
Before you rush out and resume your operations, it is important that the appropriate health and safety measures and policies are put in place.
At an absolute minimum Level 3 requires:
- Social distancing to be maintained
- All contacts/interactions to be traceable
- Good hygiene practices (hand sanitiser is widely available again now).
- Deep clean procedures
To give you an idea of the health and safety requirements, have a look at the Government guide for the construction industry: https://www.sitesafe.org.nz/globalassets/guides-and-resources/new-zealand-covid-19-construction-protocols.pdf