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Restaurant worker "optimistic" about level 3.

Mitch Redman

Further details have been released about what level 3 lockdown procedures will look like, meaning some local restaurants can start trading once again.

During Thursday's daily COVID-19 update, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced bars, restaurants, and cafes will remain closed at alert level 3, but food delivery and and takeaway joints can reopen. 

At the beginning of lockdown, Hospitality NZ chief executive Julie White sent an email to  members advising that one in five hospitality vendors would close due to the financial effect of COVID-19. 

Diner 66, a locally-owned restaurant on Victoria Street, will be able to re-open at level 3. During lockdown, owners have been "proactive" in finding ways to offer a drive-thru service with contactless payment, and delivery options. 

Being closed for over a month has caused major stress for the restaurant, so they are happy to be able to begin working again under level three.

"There's been a huge impact on business. We've been super lucky with the wage subsidy, but everything else still has to get paid like rent and subscriptions," General Manager Camille Le Lievre said. 

International visitors are a major source of income for the restaurant, so travel restrictions have, and will continue to, prove difficult. 

"We already had a decreased trade from the month before lockdown from the tourism block, so it will still take months to recover." 

However, Le Lievre believed those in the Christchurch hospitality industry will be feeling "optimistic" about level 3 hopefully coming into effect shortly. 

"This whole month has been like sitting ducks, we've sort of just been waiting to start up again, so it's exciting to hopefully get up and going." 

Once level 3 comes into effect, some other businesses will be able to start working again, with Le Lievre issuing a challenge. 

"Push people to support local. Once we get back up and running, I hope that people don't just support us, but all local businesses, that are locally-owned and employ people in the region."