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Covid restrictions eased – but masks still required in retail stores

(Source: Bigstock.)

Today, Thursday, marks the first day of a more relaxed orange traffic light pandemic response setting which took effect one minute before midnight. 

Under the orange setting, capacity limits at indoor or outdoor events have been removed, but masks are still required in stores and malls. 

As clarified by Retail NZ:

  • Customers in hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs) are no longer required to wear face masks – but public-facing staff in these businesses are still required to be masked.
  • Customers and staff in retail shops and shopping malls are still required to wear masks.

“We are waiting for news from the government about the mask exemption process changes,” Retail NZ said on its website. 

Elsewhere, masks are encouraged but not obligatory, said Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said people generally knew it was sensible to wear masks in supermarkets or other retail outlets.

The government will conduct another review of the traffic light settings will be mid next month. 

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