Friday, 22nd October, 2021

 South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce  welcomes the announcement received today regarding the new Covid-19 protection framework and the details around what it will take to get the South Island out of the current Alert Level 2.

The message is clear “Get vaccinated if you want the economy to open up”

 

"Although we had hoped for an opportunity to return to an Alert Level 1 – Delta, it is still positive to hear a plan for re-opening the economy. This does provide a degree of certainty and confidence to start planning ahead. The Chamber network has been advocating strongly for the South Island to move down the Alert Levels and to receive more clarity and information on what future operating restrictions will look like.

 

Level 2 for some businesses - particularly those involved in hospitality, retail, accommodation and events has been dire.   The impact of Auckland being in Level 4 has also had a major impact on our tourism businesses especially across the Mackenzie with a high proportion of the spend traditionally coming out of Auckland.

There will also be extra assistance through the Resurgence Support Payment which will help those businesses and sectors that are most impacted by remaining in Alert Level 2, and the continuation of the Wage Subsidy."

 

The framework is also welcomed in terms of legal guidelines for businesses.

Most businesses and the Chamber are very pleased that the Government has signalled that the new framework will set up legal protections for businesses applying to vaccination statuses. Businesses need guidance to be able to take defendable and appropriate decisions in preparing their teams and this is being asked for on a daily basis. We look forward to the Chamber network continuing to work with Government to gain greater clarity on this.

 

The key will be clear communications and guidelines, as well as ongoing support for businesses through the transition to a highly vaccinated population.

So the message although frustrating is clear that we are going to have to stay in Alert Level 2 until we reach the 90% double vaccination targe.

 

Wendy Smith CE South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce.