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Licensed outlets sticking to the rules under Alert Level 2

The region's licensed premises have been cooperative when it comes to Alert Level 2 requirements.

Police said most were aware of the guidelines and had adapted with little to no fuss.

No infringement notices have been issued for breaches of the requirements.

Most premises had good systems and processes in place and required little assistance from police to achieve compliance, police alcohol harm prevention officer Sergeant Isaac Ngatai said.

“We have found that most premises are compliant with the maximum patron numbers, with one-metre spacing between tables, patrons seated at tables and the correct procedures in place for the servicing of tables.

“There were mixed messages over the use of playing pool and snooker, the playing of darts and the use of gaming machines, with the guidelines continually being modified,” Sgt Ngatai said.

“Once the guidelines were posted on the Covid web site, people were more informed and premises operated much smoother.

“Police did observe a reduction in the number of patrons who visited bars to consume alcohol from normal, and also observed that later in the evenings there were generally more people in the gaming rooms than there were in the bar areas.”

Police have conducted well over 40 licensed premises reassurance checks in the Gisborne region during the Level 2 time period.

“We are pleased to say that we have not had to issue any infringement notices to any premises. Police have educated a number of premises to ensure compliance, which has benefited all parties concerned,” Sgt Ngatai said.

“We know that it is hard for our local businesses to operate under these levels and some are struggling to stay afloat, so we are working with them to ensure that they continue to stay open, whilst also keeping everyone safe from the virus.”

Although the maximum number of people permitted on licensed premises has increased from 50 to 100, police have not seen an increase in patron numbers.

“We can also confirm that there have been no complaints from the general public or police about the behaviour around our licensed premises over the different Covid levels.”