Published on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

New Zealand domestic tourism to resume this week

New Zealand begins easing Covid-19 restrictions this week as the country gets back to work.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it will drop to 'level 2' restrictions, which will see the return of domestic tourism.

"I am announcing that Cabinet agrees we are ready to move into level 2, to open up the economy, but to do it as safely as possible," Ardern said.

From Thursday in-country travel will be allowed giving hard-pressed accommodation owners and Air New Zealand a boost.

Restaurants, cinemas and shopping malls can open while bars will have to wait until May 21.

"The upshot is that in 10 days' time we will have reopened most businesses in New Zealand, and sooner than many other countries around the world," Ardern said.

Borders will stay closed except for returning Kiwis.

Once Level 2 kicks in Air New Zealand will operate about 20% of its normal domestic capacity.

However the airline dashed the hopes of bargain hunters, saying it wouldn't be offering its very cheapest fares.

Air NZ said even when the country comes out of Level 1, air passenger capacity will still be a long way short of normal levels.


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