Auckland Council is reminding Aucklanders to stay safe and in their bubbles ahead of the first weekend of spring.
Mayor Phil Goff says, “With the weather improving, it’s tempting to get out and about, but please remember to keep your activities local while we’re at Alert Level 4.
“Other than when you are doing essential work or accessing essential services, staying home and within your bubble is the best way to beat the virus so we can all get out of lockdown as soon as possible.
“This weekend is a good opportunity to book a vaccine if you haven’t already done so. Please also remember that if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, or were at a location of interest at the specified time, you must immediately self-isolate and get a test. By working together we can keep everyone safe and get back to life as normal.”
Cr Alf Filipaina, Chair of the Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee, agrees.
“We need to remember that COVID-19 is still out in the community, and it’s important that we keep to our bubbles and follow the Alert Level 4 rules, so we get back to normality more quickly.
“Everyone has to play their part to make sure we keep our whānau, aiga (family) and communities safe.”
Under Alert Level 4, Aucklanders must stay at home in their bubbles. You can only leave home for essential personal movement like:
shopping for groceries
accessing necessary healthcare
getting a COVID-19 test or vaccination
exercising in your local area
going to work if you are an Alert Level 4 worker and you cannot work from home.
“You can go for a walk, run or bike ride in your local area,” says Cr Filipaina.
“Exercise is good for your mental health, and I encourage people to get out. If you do, it must be on your own, or with your household bubble, and make sure you keep a 2-metre distance from others.
“You can also take the dog for a walk, but please make sure you keep them on a leash at all times, even in off-leash exercise areas. This avoids coming into close contact with someone else.
“Do not do activities that may require search and rescue services. If you were to get into trouble, it puts the lives of our emergency responders at risk. Do not go swimming, surfing, boating, hunting or tramping.
“And remember, if you are unwell, do not go out - go get tested.”
For information on what you can and can’t do under Alert Level 4, visit covid19.govt.nz
Track closures and storm damage:
Tramping is not allowed under Alert Level 4, and Auckland Council’s Western Principal Ranger, Stephen Bell says that the severe weather at the beginning of the week has significantly damaged tracks and roads.
“No one should be driving to a regional park for any activity like tramping. There is major storm damage across the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, and we cannot guarantee the safety of the tracks for anyone.”
He says the damage to roads and tracks exposes people to a higher level of risk and if an incident was to occur it would place unnecessary strain on emergency, medical and search and rescue services.
Access to Te Henga Bethells Beach remains limited for residents only, via a specially arranged 4WD route. Other roads, including Lone Kauri Road in Karekare, have also been affected by slips or washouts, so locals are reminded to take care and follow the rules in place. If you live in this area, have been affected by the storm and need help, please phone us on 0800 22 22 00. Read more about support for flood-affected communities here.
Stephen reminds people that the best advice is simple.
“Please stay in your bubble and keep to your local area. Only visit parks that are in your neighbourhood.”
He has some advice for anyone who lives next to a regional park.
“Take care, especially if you live in places like Huia, Karekare, Piha and Te Henga Bethells Beach. Stay off the tracks as we need to assess them after this week’s storms. We have had reports of entire sections of some tracks being washed away and of some bridges gone. It is simply not safe at the moment.”
Some parks and walkways in west Auckland will also have storm damage.
Waitākere ward Councillor Shane Henderson reminds people living out west that the lockdown will mean that it will take longer than usual for contractors to clear all the debris.
“Please take care when heading out on your bubble walk with your whānau. Keep away from any storm damage, especially around bridges. Contractors and council staff are working as fast as possible to clear debris and assess walkways and bridges, but Alert Level 4 safety requirements mean it will take time, so please be patient.”
Closed Auckland Council facilities
Due to their high use during the lockdown, Grey Lynn Pump Track and Victoria Park Skate Park have been fenced off in consultation with Police.
Auckland Council reminds Aucklanders that under Alert Level 4 restrictions they cannot use recreational facilities, including playgrounds, outdoor exercise equipment, basketball courts, pump tracks and skateparks. Signage is clearly displayed at all facilities and more than 200 high-use playgrounds or items of exercise equipment have been taped off. This is for the safety of everyone, and we ask people to not remove signage or tape.
For a full list of services that are and aren’t available during Alert Level 4, please visit the Auckland Council website.
Auckland Council Cemeteries
If you’re visiting loved ones at your local cemetery this Father’s Day, please remember to follow the rules for Alert Level 4. Walk-in access is permitted but visitors are reminded to wear a mask and observe social distancing. Gates are closed to non-authorised vehicles and security is at the gates. All cemetery offices remain closed, but essential cemetery services are still operating. Please check the Cemeteries page on the Auckland Council website for more information.
Keeping everyone entertained and safe
Auckland Council has put together a range of resources to help everyone in the household get through lockdown while staying in their bubbles.
Called Together at Home, it shares ideas and activities to help Aucklanders learn something new or retrain, try home workouts, explore local parks, discover history or unwind and relax.
With ideas from Auckland Council Libraries, Pools and Leisure, Parks Services, Auckland Museum, and more there is something for everyone.
Report a breach
If you spot someone breaching Alert Level 4 restrictions, please phone 105 to report it. Alternatively, visit police.govt.nz/105support
If tape or signage at your local playground has been damaged or removed, you can report it directly to Auckland Council online or phone Auckland Council on 09 301 0101 and log a request for service job.