After the easing of restrictions on social gatherings and travel this week, the New Zealand government has confirmed ticketed large events, including domestic business events and conferences can now go ahead with a 100-person limit. There is also a one-meter (six-foot) distancing requirement, and contact tracing is essential.
Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) chief executive, Lisa Hopkins said in an announcement that the industry welcomes clarity on numbers from the government, and the acknowledgement that business events should be viewed differently to social gatherings. “This helps the New Zealand business events sector restart for domestic attendees, and is the first step in the right direction."
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. New guidelines for New Zealand state that large ticketed events and business events must be seated, they must allow for contact tracing, have physical distancing in place, good hygiene procedures, and any food and drink must meet the hospitality provisions.
“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 following on from an event becomes much greater, so caps are set at a level where safety can be managed from a public health perspective."
The cap may increase in phases, although there isn't any certainty around if or when these phases might begin. The New Zealand government, according to CINZ, has pledged it will continue to support the events sector in any ongoing discussions about this.