Auckland stores welcome eager shoppers as Level 3, Step 2 arrives

Source: 1News

Auckland stores are already making up for lost profits just hours into the arrival of Step 2 of Alert Level 3, opening for the first time in almost three months.

New Zealand's largest city saw restrictions around its Level 3 Lockdown ease at 11.59pm on Tuesday, allowing shops to reopen with safety protocols in place such as face coverings, QR codes and social distancing.

Step 2's arrival was met with plenty eager customers who had already been lining up outside malls such as Sylvia Park yesterday waiting for the doors to open at midnight.

Approximately 13,000 stores are able to reopen in the eased restrictions, allowing up to 80,000 workers to also head back to their jobs.

1News understands some shoppers have lined up for as long as two days prior to the reopening to be the first in stores promising discounts to the first batch of customers they've seen since August.

Included was a woman who slept in her car overnight outside an Auckland Kmart so she could be the first in the door.

The Botany Downs store eventually opted to open early due to a line of around 30 people already queuing outside from 7am as they look to manage their 200 person capacity [including staff] throughout the day.

Some public spaces in City of Sails are also able to reopen but many, including the likes of the Auckland's Museum, Zoo, and Art Gallery, are holding off until at least next week to complete preparations.

People shop along Ponsonby Road in Auckland.

It comes after Auckland's three DHBs all surpassed the 90 per cent first vaccination dose milestone on Sunday.

Counties Manukau DHB reached the milestone on November 7, edging Auckland closer to shifting from the current Alert Level system to the Government's new traffic light-themed Covid-19 response scheme.

Auckland will move to the new system when 90 per cent of all three DHBs - Waitematā, Auckland and Counties Manukau - reach 90 per cent fully vaccinated.