Coronavirus: Events manager says 100 person gathering limit will do little to save the sector

An events manager says the 100-person gathering size increase will do little to save the sector. 

The limit on gatherings is jumping from 10 to 100 on Friday

But Duco director David Higgins says for major events this makes no difference.

"The major events sector has been decimated," he told Newshub. "Many companies are going under or people are looking at new careers.

"Unfortunately, for major events, 100 [people] makes no difference. I hope the Government works on proactive measures to bring back major events when the time is right, in a safe way, otherwise, the whole sector will decimate."

Higgins said it still leaves the whole events sector in the lurch.

"Events that are less than 100 can go ahead but that rules out almost all concerts, all significant sporting events, almost all significant cultural events, community events [and] even religious events.

"I think they're holding on as best they can now and if restrictions are lifted further and that can only be a good thing.

"Anyone in major events has basically been out of business - I mean no business, zero revenue."

City Impact Church's Peter Mortlock, meanwhile, said gatherings based on the size of the venue would make far more sense.

He said his auditorium fits 2000 people and it's saddening to see bars and brothels open before his church.

Infectious diseases expert Mark Thomas told Newshub he's heartened by the move to increase gathering sizes.

"We're doing an awful lot of testing and we don't seem to be finding extra cases.

"The information we've got at the moment suggests that we don't have significant numbers of cases in the country."

Thomas said the Government is following the evidence.

"I think ramping back up to relatively normal activity is a good thing to do," he said. "I think people will be aware that they need to be cautious - but I think other than that I think it seems to be safe for people to return to normal life."

Speaking at her post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there will no longer be a need for funerals or tangihanga to pre-register via the Ministry of Health.

The move to 100 people will allow community sport to "operate more easily", Ardern said, but large-scale events like concerts will still be restricted by the rules.

"It's another step in re-normalising life as we continue to stamp out the virus."