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LIVE: Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is updating the public on the government's response to the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand this afternoon.

The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break.

This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause.

“Supermarkets will be able to open on Easter Sunday during our COVID-19 lockdown in order to ensure we are able to buy essential food, drink and household goods. The Government recognises that communities are concerned about getting essential items and there are few alternatives to supermarkets at this time,” says Iain Lees-Galloway, Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety.

“It is also important that workers are able to take a break during this busy period after doing an incredible job during such difficult times, so supermarkets will stay closed on Good Friday.

“Given most supermarkets are normally closed on Easter Sunday, it is important that employees know they still have the right to refuse to work that day. I am sure that employers will act fairly to those who don’t want to work and want a well-earned break.

“I encourage everyone to consider the strain on supermarkets at present and to only shop for what you need as usual, and keep using the distancing rule when shopping,” says Iain.

The Government has asked the Labour Inspectorate not to penalise supermarkets that remain open but will still assist workers who have been coerced into working on Easter Sunday as usual.

Supermarkets, unions and community agencies were consulted before a decision was made on opening over Easter.

There are a range of views on this issue and we also acknowledge the religious significance of Easter Sunday for many people.

Staying open on Easter Sunday is permissible under the existing provisions of the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 and does not require a law change.

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4 Comments
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@Yadick

Posted on 01-04-2020 15:26 | By morepork

I am sorry they are staying open but it is a consensual decision and it is intended to be fair. I’m not sure it has been dictated by greed; I’d prefer to think it is trying to make sure that panic buying and rushes on the supermarkets are avoided. If you can shop as "normal" it helps to inspire confidence and lessen the anxiety in our communities.

@Dumkopf

Posted on 01-04-2020 15:23 | By morepork

If it is one of your family members who dies from it, the fact that they were part of a small percentage of the population is going to be little consolation. We need to keep that percentage small and make it diminish to zero. I agree there is a lot of anxiety and uneasiness surrounding it and sometimes that leads to excessive measures, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Absolutely Ridiculous

Posted on 31-03-2020 16:34 | By

How did we ever survive when shops were shut all weekend. This goes against all the warnings we’ve been given about the more places open the greater the risk. Here was a chance for a good 2 day shutdown lockdown. Dictated to by greed.

virus

Posted on 31-03-2020 15:37 | By dumbkof2

i think out govt is making some very misleading statements. stating that upto 3mil nzs cough get the virus and up to 28 thou could die from it. statements like that just cause more panic and uneasyness amongst the more vulnerable. when you equate the number of people that have got or had it it is only 0.007% of the population