Boult: Airline social distancing "excessive."
"Social distancing rules on commercial aircraft should be reconsidered ahead of the school holiday season, Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult says.
Under current social distancing and mask regulations commercial aircraft are only able to be filled to between half and two-thirds of capacity. This is already badly affecting businesses in the district and, if continued, will have a seriously detrimental effect on visitor numbers during the upcoming school holidays.
Mayor Boult said while he appreciated the need to stop the spread of COVID-19, the economic effects of distancing regulations could not be ignored.
“I fully understand the need to protect Kiwis from COVID-19,” Mayor Boult says.
“However, given the requirement for masks I think the social distancing rules on aircraft are excessive. We’re in an economically desperate situation and the district needs the additional travellers that a relaxing of distancing requirements would bring.
“We are aware of current unsatisfied demand by would-be visitors to the district, which is frustrating given the position local businesses find themselves in.
“I strongly urge the government to reconsider its opinion on airline distancing requirements.”