UPDATE Monday 23 March 2020: RFA venue closures

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement today of the escalation to Level 3 of the Government’s COVID-19 Alert system, we advise that, effective from tomorrow Auckland Zoo, Mt Smart Stadium, Western Springs Stadium and North Harbour Stadium will be temporarily closed to the public.

This follows last Friday’s closures of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the New Zealand Maritime Museum, and all RFA’s theatres and meeting spaces, and the closure from 5pm today of the Aotea Centre foyer, BOX Café and Bar and BOX in the Square Café and Bar in Aotea Square, and Stark’s Café and Bar at The Civic.

RFA chief executive Chris Brooks says the closures are a response by the organisation to the Ministry of Health’s updated guidelines and the continued implementation of all measures issued by the Government to contain the spread of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

He says that although the Zoo will be closed to the community, its passionate and dedicated staff will continue to work hard to ensure that all the Zoo’s animals receive the same high level of care they always enjoy.

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UPDATE Friday 20 March 2020: Venue closures

Regional Facilities Auckland, our clients and our creative partners are all committed to doing our part to prevent widespread COVID-19 community outbreaks.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday on cancelling indoor gatherings of 100 people or more, we advise that effective from 5pm March 20 2020, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand Maritime Museum and all RFA’s theatres and meeting spaces will temporarily close to the public.

Venue closures include The Civic, the Herald Theatre and the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatres in Aotea Centre, Auckland Town Hall, the Bruce Mason Centre, The Cloud, and Shed 10. While the government directive on indoor gatherings covers the next two weeks, these buildings will stay closed until the Ministry of Health advises it is safe to reopen.

The BOX Café and Bar and the foyer area in the Aotea Centre will remain open so visitors can enjoy community activities while maintaining safe social distancing.

Recognising how important it is for Auckland families to have a safe place to visit and connect, our open-air venues, Auckland Zoo, and our stadiums will remain open to the public, with the government’s 500 person gathering limit and stringent health measures in place.

Statement from RFA CEO Chris Brooks:

“The decision to close Auckland Art Gallery, the New Zealand Maritime Museum, and our theatre and conferencing venues is deeply disappointing to all the people in our industry who work so hard to create enriching experiences for Aucklanders and visitors to our city.

“However, we all have to play our part in protecting our teams, our whānau, and the Auckland community from potential exposure.

“We feel deeply for our staff, artists, performing artists, our creative partners, exhibitors, and conventions clients, who, along with our patrons and visitors, are feeling the impacts of COVID-19 in all areas of their lives.

“For RFA at present, our focus is on the wellbeing of our teams. During this time, we are making sure we can stay connected with each other and our clients, artists, promoters and event partners.

“We will keep working in the background so we can deliver exciting programmes and initiatives, in more innovative ways than ever before, both digitally for now, and when we reopen our venues for business.”

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Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), our clients and our creative partners are all committed to doing our part to prevent widespread COVID-19 community outbreaks.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on cancelling mass gatherings of 500 people or more, all RFA-hosted events with 500 people or more have been cancelled, effective from 17 March 2020. This includes The Book of Mormon performances at The Civic.

RFA and its events arms ─ Auckland Live, Auckland Stadiums and Auckland Conventions, Venues & Events ─ are working closely with promoters and clients to confirm which events have smaller attendance numbers and could potentially still go ahead.

Ongoing preventative measures in RFA venues

RFA continues to follow the Ministry of Health's (MoH) advice on public gatherings and events.

RFA has excellent staff training and enhanced cleaning regimes in place to keep our venues as safe as we can, including regular wiping of hard surfaces, visible MoH reminders of health precautions and hand sanitisers in our public areas.

We are working closely with our venues, creative partners, event organisers and our suppliers to put additional mitigation measures in place for smaller events and gatherings as needed.