Tuesday, 8th March, 2022

The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce and Chamber’s from around the country are calling on the government to reduce the isolation periods for close contacts.

“Stay at home isolation rules could break the backbone of our economy as SMEs and larger businesses are crippled by worker absenteeism” said Wendy Smith.

The current regulations require close contacts to isolate for 10 days, a Household Contact is considered to be someone who shares a house or flat on a permanent or part-time basis (for example, shared custody) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and has spent at least 1 night or day in that residence while the case was infectious.

“This is literally grinding businesses to a halt and with retail outlets and cafes closing for days on end, fruit needing to be picked from our orchards, goods to be delivered and abattoirs and processing plants reducing through put; this is rapidly becoming a crisis.”

Ideally a negative test result should enable workers to return to their businesses or at the very least the isolation period needs to be reduced to 5-7 days. The impacts on a family and their places of work with rolling isolation periods is untenable.

The Chamber has sent through this message to the local member of Parliament Jo Luxton and the Canterbury Chamber is raising this issue with the Prime Minister.

“We realise this is a careful balancing act and that our health officials ultimately need to guide us through the Covid pandemic, however we also need to keep business moving.”

Wendy Smith also said “The Chamber would like to see the Covid Support Payment criteria changed to a reduction of 30% in revenue, this would enable more businesses to access this essential financial support and to be able to retain staff and come out the other side of this pandemic.”   


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Wendy Smith, Chief Executive, phone 027 229 2949

The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce is the voice of South Canterbury business, serving the community since 1905. With over 530 members and with a strong national and international Chamber family, we work together to build better business outcomes.  We recognise that healthy business cultures lead to the improved wellbeing of all South Cantabrian’s.