Coronavirus and Meetings
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Restrictions on social gatherings and travel in New Zealand were eased earlier this week, and the government now has confirmed that ticketed large events, including domestic business events and conferences, can go ahead with a 100-person limit.
There is also a three-foot distancing requirement, and contact-tracing information must be gathered. The new guidelines also require guests to be seated, good hygiene procedures among all participants and staff, and any food and drink must meet certain hospitality provisions.
Lisa Hopkins, chief executive of Conventions & Incentives New Zealand, said the industry welcomes clarity on numbers from the government, and the acknowledgement that business events should be viewed differently from social gatherings.
"This helps the New Zealand business-events sector restart for domestic attendees, and is the first step in the right direction," she said. "We look forward to the government's next review of restrictions in two weeks' time."
The current caps across all aspects of New Zealand business and social gatherings are for the first stage of Alert Level Two and will be revisited on May 25.
"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," Hopkins added. "An increase in a cap from 100 attendees to 200 attendees, for example, is exponential in risk -- the contract-tracing requirements alone from an event becomes much greater... 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."