Saturday, December 4

Auckland restaurants await Covid-19 alert level 3

Auckland restaurants have been cleaning and stocking up as they prepare to reopen their doors.

A deserted central Auckland amidst the blockade of August 2021.

A deserted center of Auckland in the middle of the close of August.
Photo: RNZ / Robert Smith

Cafes, restaurants, and take-out stores may open at alert level 3 for pickup, delivery, or contactless driving, but some say they won’t open as it’s not worth it.

Khin Estay, Dunkin ‘Donuts Queen Street store manager, said that before this morning’s reopening at 7 a.m., she and another staff member were busy with preparations.

“Right now it’s like getting everything ready, like turning on all the machines and checking if our stocks are still good or expired … and then cleaning,” he said.

Blue Ox Babe Barbecue in the southern Auckland suburb of Pukekohe was scheduled to open this afternoon. Owner Mark Woodward hoped it was busy.

“It’ll be busy this week. The kiwis have been locked up for five weeks. The freezers and pantries will be pretty empty I’d say, and just like the last level 3 closures, we’ve done really well.”

Woodward expected to see staff members and customers and was confident that the Level 3 rules would hold up well.

“We worked a lot on this and the lock above to really think about every intricate process of customer engagement and engagement with us and we are very happy with how it worked last time, and there is absolutely no need to change any of this. time, “he said

Nicky Partridge said she was excited to reopen the Street Organics cafe in Takapuna. If the coffee only broke even, it would still be worth it, he said.

“You know a lot of our customers are really missing out on what we offer, so a lot of them are just hanging out for a beautiful coffee made by a barista and some just want something they didn’t cook themselves, and they know what it is. healthy. and nutritious and whole foods that come from us and can adapt to all your dietary styles. “

However, some restaurants will not be operational, such as Oyster and Chop in the Viaduct area of ​​the city.

Owner Michael Opperman said: “We are a steakhouse and seafood [restaurant], oysters, that doesn’t travel well and you know we don’t have a large population living on the Viaduct so it wouldn’t be worth it below level 3. “

He was desperate to see the city hit alert level 2 in two weeks and hoped the borders would one day reopen with high vaccination rates.

“I support the government in their choice of closed closures and I felt we had to do it. I feel like we can’t do much more.”

Sandringham’s Electric Chicken owner Matt Fitzgerald said the business would not even break even, but would remain open as of Thursday, however he was closing his other takeaway store, Taco Beer, as it had been losing money.

“It’s been a horrible 18 months, so it’s not going to be good for the rest of the year either,” he said.

Alert level 3 could mean a bit more freedom to buy takeout, but the government has insisted on the message that it is still a difficult shutdown.

For people who ignore the rules, the punishments have become much stricter: Courts can now impose fines of up to $ 12,000. Notices on the ground have gone from $ 300 to $ 4000.

Auckland residents split on the move.

Heavenlee Kere said it was a lot of money.

“I feel like because they pose a risk to the rest of us, it’s probably fair,” he said.

Amanda Wu said the increase was too much.

“Three hundred is a bit low, but 4000 is a bit high. I’d say maybe around $ 1500 would be better,” he said.

Timo Wendel also saw fit to increase the fine, but the change was too drastic.

“Maybe increase it a bit first and that’s not so much because families will fight a lot, so I think it’s a bit of a harsh punishment,” he said.

Businesses that violate the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act now risk a fine of up to $ 15,000.

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