Air New Zealand said that “social distancing is no longer a requirement” for the airline as New Zealand has lifted almost all of its Covid-19 restrictions in the country.

New Zealand moved to alert level 1 on June 8, the lowest level in its four-tier alert system. Under alert level 1, social distancing is not required, but borders remain closed to foreigners. The country has reported no new Covid-19 cases for more than two weeks.

Air New Zealand’s general manager of customer experience Nikki Goodman said in a statement that alert level 1 will mark a return to normal with regards to domestic flying.

“Social distancing is no longer a requirement, unaccompanied minors will once again be able to travel domestically, and customers will be able to travel around New Zealand again with pets as checked baggage,” she said.

The carrier said on May 14 that it had introduced social distancing onboard its domestic flights. Passengers travelling alone were seated near empty seats, but some passengers were seated together “to keep families and some travelling companions together” according to the carrier.

Goodman also said that passengers are still encouraged to check-in for their flight using the Air New Zealand mobile app to save time at the airport as more people are expected to travel at this level.

In regards to its inflight meal service on domestic flights, Goodman said the carrier had already resumed its food and beverage services under alert level 2, with the exception of its “Koru Hour” flights.

New Zealand’s flag carrier is currently operating around 20 per cent of its usual domestic capacity compared with pre-Covid-19 levels. It began resuming some of its domestic schedule after New Zealand entered alert level 2, under which businesses were allowed to open and travel between regions was also permitted.

The carrier plans to operate around 55 per cent of its usual domestic capacity (compared to pre-Covid-19 levels) during July and August.

Air New Zealand has extended the timeframe for its reduced international flying schedule until August 31.