Ballantynes temporarily closes Christchurch store as new Covid cases announced

Photo: NZ Herald
Photo: NZ Herald
Ballantynes in central Christchurch has temporarily closed its doors out of caution due to Covid-19.

A spokesperson said although the store is not currently a location of interest, they have decided to close the physical store for three days as well as cancel the in-store availability of The Sale, which will now move online.

"Thank you for your continued support and understanding during this time," the spokesperson said.

"If you were planning on visiting us in-store to shop The Sale, we are now exclusively running this online, ending on Sunday, January 30. Phone orders will also be available during store hours on 0800 656 400."

It comes after the Ministry of Health announced four new community cases of Covid-19 in the city on Thursday.

Ballantynes chief executive Maria O’Halloran said the cancellation of The Sale is a disappointment, but she has "made the decision out of an abundance of caution with the Ballantynes staff and community in mind".

"It is with a heavy heart that we have had to cancel the sale, but the decision was unanimous in line with keeping our customers and staff safe."

She said its Timaru store will continue to operate as usual - with The Sale running until 4pm on Sunday.

"Safety will still be at the forefront, with the volume of customers in-store being closely monitored and extra spaces allowed for customer circulation."    

Christchurch Central Business Association chairwoman Annabel Turley said she has been inundated with calls for worried business owners following Ballantynes announcement.

"A lot of them said it feels like lockdown yet again and there's no light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

"All of the office workers are working from home so everywhere is open but with no customers.

Turley said they are concerned about the negative impact it will have on people's confidence in the city.

"I think for a lot of the concerned business owners who rely on everyone working together and being open, they are just really worried about the negative impact it will have."

There are two locations of interest in Christchurch following the announcement of the four new cases yesterday.

Anyone who was at Ferry Rd Pharmacy in Waltham on Monday, January 24, from 3.30pm-4pm, or Thursday, January 27, from 8.45am-8.55am, should self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms for 10 days and get a test.

The pharmacy is not linked to a suspected Omicron case at this stage.

Christchurch Airport is also on the ministry's list of locations of interest. Anyone at the airport on Monday, January 24, between 9.10am and 9.40am or 5pm to 5.30pm, should self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms and, if symptoms develop, get a test and stay at home.

Two of the four new cases are located in the same household, the ministry said.

-By Devon Bolger, Samantha Mythen and Star News

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