Fat Duck Restaurant Joins Call For Level Change

photo credit: Fat Duck Restaurant and Bar

Fat Duck Restaurant and Bar's owner in Te Anau has joined the forces calling for a return to alert level 1 as hospitality businesses continue to struggle.

Cameron Davies said his business was down 60 percent compared to pre-lockdown in August.

Many people are still playing it cautious during alert level 2, so the sooner the South Island shifted to level 1, the sooner the economy could flow again, said Davies.

Under the current alert level rules, Fat Duck is down 30 percent more than what it was trading in level 2, 2020.

Finance minister Grant Robertson said the restrictions for alert level 2 were precautions because of the cases in Auckland. The restrictions are to limit any potential super-spreader events if a case did go through the boundary.

The Government is taking a general approach, as it is difficult to provide targeted support effectively and fairly.

Another round of the wage subsidy and resurgence support payments became available last week for eligible businesses.

Spending in the hospitality sector in New Zealand had fallen by almost 30 percent in August alone, said Invercargill MP Penny Simmonds.

Invercargill chef Graham Hawkes echoed Davies' call to lower the alert levels in the South Island. He said the financial situation was becoming desperate for many hospitality businesses, and the alert level should be dropped immediately.

Customer numbers had fallen drastically for many restaurants and bars, with few breaking even. Permanent closure was becoming a real possibility for some, said Davies.

The current limitations of 50 people inside hospitality venues would go up to 100 if Auckland dropped to alert level 3. When the country moves to alert level 1, the same rules will apply as the last level 1.