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Public gatherings to be limited to up to two hours under Alert Level 2

Some gatherings have been limited to up to two hours when the country moves to Alert Level 2 on Thursday to help limit the spread of Covid-19.

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Jacinda Ardern announced the decision about easing Covid-19 restrictions this afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS

"On Thursday this week retail, malls, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and other public spaces including playgrounds and gyms, can reopen," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

Under Alert Level 2, people can gather at home, but groups are limited to up to 10 people or the people who live in your home, according to the Covid-19 website.

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Restaurants can take bookings with limited numbers from Thursday. Source: 1 NEWS

While the Covid-19 website earlier stated that private gatherings must be limited to two hours, the information has since been updated, removing the requirement.

People have also been advised to play it safe by keeping surfaces clean, washing their hands and keeping numbers low in order to practice safe distancing.

People will also be allowed to attend gatherings outside, including weddings, funerals and tangihanga, family events, religious services and public meetings.

Source: 1 NEWS

However, they must also have no more than 10 people present and be no longer than two hours.

High hygiene standards must also be maintained, and attendees must be recorded to ensure contact tracing can be carried out if necessary.

You cannot participate if you experience any symptoms of coronavirus or if you must be in isolation for any reason.

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Restaurants can take bookings with limited numbers from Thursday. Source: 1 NEWS

Many public venues will also reopen at Alert Level 2, including museums, libraries, cinemas, restuarants, cafes, markets, sport and recreation facilities. 

Bars may reopen from May 21.

"If the primary purpose is for dining, you can open. If the primary purpose if for drinking there's that delay. That does mean pubs who provide meals and so on will be able to open," she said.

Music festival (file photo) Source: istock.com

"It is a really pragmatic way to strike that balance between getting those businesses open as soon as we can, but also balancing the risk that still exists. We don't want to be South Korea, open our bars to only close them again."

Venues must keep groups of attendees one metre apart, have groups no larger than 10 people, and not have more than 100 people on the premises, excluding staff.

Hospitality venues may only serve customers if they are there to dine. Some venues may remain closed if they are unable to open safely under the new alert level.