Marlborough’s grape harvest will continue with the wine industry cleared to operate as an essential service during the coronavirus lockdown.

Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive, said that the wine industry would be allowed to operate during Alert Level Four. 

Horticulture New Zealand released a statement that said all food and beverage producers and processors, and their supply chains, are deemed to be essential services.

Gregan said harvest for sauvignon blanc, which was New Zealand's largest variety, had just started. Marlborough harvested almost 80 percent of New Zealand's grape harvest in 2019. 

Strict rules have been placed that wineries and vineyards must follow. Workers were expected to keep a two metre distance from each other and employers needed to be sure they were social distancing at home too. 

The New Zealand horticulture sector has announced its need for workers to fill approximately 1300 spots left vacant by overseas workers unable to enter the country, to read more about that story click here.

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