The Huddle: Should more companies be closed during lockdown?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Mar 2020, 7:02PM

The Huddle: Should more companies be closed during lockdown?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 26 Mar 2020, 7:02PM

Tim Wilson and Neale Jones join Heather du Plessis-Allan to discuss the coronavirus lockdown. 

Some Mad Butcher stores continue to trade despite the Government issuing strict orders for all non-essential businesses to be shut as part of a mandatory lockdown to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

This morning, Mad Butcher stores in Mt Roskill and Glen Innes, in Auckland, owned by Michael Morton, continued to trade and remain open despite this - contrary to what Mad Butcher founder Sir Peter Leitch thinks about the importance of self-isolation.

A spokeswoman from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) earlier said it was aware that some Mad Butcher stores remained opened today despite the ban, but said these were not permitted to be trading.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this afternoon agreed - she said not all food outlets could remain open because it would undermine the purpose of the lockdown.

"Food is essential, but if we simply allowed every food outlet in New Zealand to open we wouldn't achieve what we need to achieve, which is as little contact as possible between one another, we also need to reduce down the risk to as many workplaces as we can," Ardern said.

"Butcher shops are not classified as essential. What they supply can largely also be purchased at supermarkets. This approach has been taken to prevent community transmission and to ensure people limit movement to their suburbs," the MBIE spokeswoman said.

"We need as many businesses as possible to close to slow the spread of the virus."

The Herald has contacted Michael Morton for comment.

Leitch, who founded the butcher chain in 1971, says Kiwis should take the coronavirus outbreak much more seriously.