Relief in Auckland as Level 4 print ban ends

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Printers in New Zealand’s biggest city are firing up the presses again from today, with the harsh Level 4 Covid restrictions dialled down to Level 3, for now at least.

Concerned: Ruth Cobb, general manager PrintNZ.
Concerned: Ruth Cobb, general manager PrintNZ

Ruth Cobb, CEO at PrintNZ said, "It is good news to get the Level 3 announcement for Auckland, and a great relief to have all print businesses back to being fully operational today - dependent on work levels of course."

Level 3 restrictions mean that manufacturing including printing is allowed again, under strict Covid protocols including masks, social distancing and visitor check in. Level 3 has had a few tweaks since last time, PrintNZ has produced the full list of required protocols, click here to see what they are.

The rest of the country has been moved to Level 2. The country’s top doctor has said he wants a vaccination rate above 90 per cent before all restrictions end. No country in the world has yet achieved 90 per cent, and New Zealand is currently behind other OECD countries in its vaccine roll-out. 

Cobb said,  "It has been frustrating for those affected, but they were 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.” 

Under Level 4 all commercial print was banned, the only products coming off the presses were print for essential items – food, healthcare the like – as well as Covid graphics, and some news publications.

Fred Soar, president of PrintNZ and CEO at Soar Print acknowledged the work that was possible under Level 4, but said, “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.”

Printers across the city were feeling the pinch, as the government plunged it into extended lockdown as it continues to pursue a Covid-zero policy. Auckland printers were also losing customers to printers in the rest of the country, who were free to print whatever was required, meaning that customers of Auckland printers were turning to other printers to get their work done.


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