COVID-19: Restaurateur pleads for MIQ hotels to be taken out of Auckland CBD by 2022

An Auckland restaurateur is pleading with the city's mayor to help move managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities out of the CBD by next year.

Many businesses say they're at breaking point this lockdown, and are demanding more support and certainty as restrictions take a toll.

The tables at Tony McGeorge's four restaurants have been empty for more than a month.

"At level 4, obviously our revenue's zero," he told Newshub - and it's not looking much better for level 3 or 2 either.

"With the new restrictions on level 2, we'll be lucky to be hitting 50 percent of revenue."

McGeorge has written an open letter to Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, demanding he show leadership and lobby the Government harder on behalf of Auckland businesses feeling the pinch of lockdown.

Part of his plea is to get rid of MIQ hotels from the CBD by next year.

"We have a disproportionate amount of it and I think that contributes to concern for people coming into the CBD," McGeorge says.

Mayor Goff says he's asked ministers about more targeted support for Auckland, and agrees MIQ in the heart of our biggest city is not a long-term solution.

"We need to have fit-for-purpose, purpose-built facilities and not in the centre of our town. But you can't do it overnight; it will take some time," he said.

Options like new builds and hotels in other regions are being explored, but for now the Government says Auckland remains the best location for the bulk of MIQ hotels.

Heart of the City, Auckland CBD's business association, wants more certainty around getting MIQ facilities out of the area.

"Really, we're looking to see some plans; I haven't seen any substantial plans around this, but there are growing concerns being raised," says CEO Viv Beck.

And those concerns are only getting louder as businesses struggle to see a way out.