Auckland in strict lockdown for another week
The current struggles of printers in New Zealand’s largest city are continuing, as the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern extends Auckland’s strict Level 4 lockdown for at least another week, extending it until 21 September, while the rest of the country will stay at Level 2.
For printers in the area, this means they can only produce what is deemed essential work, for another week at least.
Stopping the presses for the Auckland-only lockdown is creating additional issues however.
“This may create problems for any clients that printers have outside of the city, because they are all operating under Level 2 restrictions, while Auckland will remain in Level 4,” said Fred Soar, CEO of Soar Print, one of the country’s largest printing companies., and president of PrintNZ.
He said, “Printers can still do essential service work such as food packaging, labelling, and work for healthcare products, along with any other work that is deemed essential services, which is better than nothing.
“But this is still a long way from normal activity for the industry, and unfortunately will result in significant financial losses for a lot of people in the industry.”
The decision to extend the harsh lockdown comes as the country continues to battle the current Delta variant outbreak, with 54 new cases of Covid reported over the weekend, and 33 new cases just on Monday alone.
In total, there are now a total of 955 cases in the outbreak, which includes a number of mystery cases that have yet to be traced by investigators and contact tracers.
“Another week of strict lockdowns has been devastating news for the industry, but the government says it is necessary until they can get a better handle on where the mystery cases are coming from,” Ruth Cobb, PrintNZ CEO, tells Print21.
“It has been frustrating for those affected, but they are all just getting on with doing what they can under the restrictions, which is only essential work.
“But the longer this goes on, I’d say there will be some companies out there starting to weigh up what this costs for the business, as no amount of support will be able to replace the work lost during this time.
“All anyone can do now is to just think of a plan and a road to recovery for when the restrictions start to get eased more, whenever that may be.”
The rest of the country will remain in Level 2 lockdown, which means they are out of lockdown conditions, although some restrictions will remain on gathering size and mask wearing, but printers are free to print.
The New Zealand Level 4 lockdown is much stricter than those imposed in Australia, where print business have been able to carry on manufacturing in lockdown, provided they adhere to Covid safe protocols.
The Kiwi Cabinet will meet again to review the situation on Monday.