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Queenstown closed by Friday?

COVID has hit Queenstown and many of the tourist town’s attractions, restaurants and bars have been listed as locations of interest and their staff deemed close contacts, The New Zealand Herald reported.


The “severe” labour shortage has prompted Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ruth Stokes to predict that “everywhere will be closed by Friday”.



Despite the government reducing isolation times for confirmed cases and their close contacts, Stokes sees little benefit for Queenstown businesses. 


“If you are isolating for seven days or isolating for 10 days, if you‘re closed you’re closed, and these are businesses on the brink,” she told Radio New Zealand. 


According to Stokes, about 70 per cent of business closures in Queenstown in the past year had been in the past six months, and she expects more insolvencies to come.


“These businesses going to the wall aren‘t just fly-by-night businesses. These are established firms that have been around for years, contributed millions of dollars to the local economy, and employ a lot of people.”


Australian media personality Michelle Stephenson announced she had cancelled a pre-emptive ski trip to avoid isolation orders. 


“I wish to visit your fine country in July to hit the slopes and am willing to chance the fact that you haven’t set a firm date,” she wrote on Twitter.


“But then I saw that you require fully vaccinated travellers to self isolate for ten days and I lol’d and cancelled my bookings.”


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Published: 16 February 2022

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