This weekend is a first for Aucklanders, with Alert Level 3 Step 1 seeing new rules in place.
Auckland Council is reminding Aucklanders to enjoy the eased restrictions safely, and to stick to the guidelines to keep their friends, whānau and community safe.
Step 1 sees three key changes to the existing Alert Level 3 restrictions:
- You can meet with another household outdoors - gatherings between 2 households can go ahead, with a maximum of 10 people attending
- You can travel across the region for recreational purposes
- Early learning centres can reopen as long as children are kept in bubbles of 10.
Face coverings continue to be mandatory in some places and strongly encouraged when in public and physical distancing is not possible.
Remember to use the COVID-19 Tracer App to check in wherever you are. If you can’t find a QR code, manually check in. A good tip is to add to the notes section of the manual check in who you meet and the activity you participated in. In the possibility of exposure, this additional information will be helpful for health authorities to move quickly in reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Finally, if you aren’t already vaccinated, please consider heading into a vaccination centre to get your first dose. There are plenty of spaces available, and you can find more information on how to get a vaccine here.
Auckland Council facilities at Step 1
Auckland Council General Manager Community Facilities Taryn Crewe says more services will be available to help Aucklanders make the most of these changes but that it’s down to each of us to keep ourselves and our whānau safe.
“With the weather warming up, but still variable with spring conditions, we’re expecting more Aucklanders to head to our parks and open spaces to catch up with their friends and whānau.
“Playgrounds, skateparks and basketball courts will reopen but we ask that people exercise common sense when out and about and keep to the government guidelines around meet-ups.
“The government guidance is clear on this point: you should only mingle with one other household. If you can’t practice physical distancing around our playgrounds and other facilities, please don’t use them.”
Auckland Council’s libraries, community venues, pools and leisure centres remain closed.
Waitākere storm damage
Whatipū Rd remains closed to everyone, apart from limited access to properties for local residents. Serious slips on the road have caused dangerous conditions so local residents are asked to please take care. Pedestrians are not allowed to use the road, and there is no access to the Whatipū area walking tracks (including Pūriri Ridge Track, Mt Donald McLean and Ōmanawanui Tracks) or Whatipū beach.
Other tracks throughout the Waitākere ranges remain closed due to storm damage and vandalism. These include:
- Ahuahu Track due to slip damage
- Karamatura Track lower loop and Karamatura Falls access due to flood damage
- Ussher Track due to a bridge washout
- Winstone Track due to a bridge washout
Please note the following tracks are only accessible by foot through Karamatura Track. The Karamatura carpark has limited capacity currently as a result of storm damage:
- Ōmanawanui Track due to hygiene station vandalism
- Pūriri Ridge Track due to hygiene station vandalism
- Signal House Track due to hygiene station vandalism
Sections of the Te Henga Walkway, managed by DOC, have been re-opened from both the Constable Road end and the Te Henga Road end, although an area in between remains closed due to a slip. People will not be able to walk the length of the track and will have to return to the end they entered the track from.
In addition, the August storm caused major damage to some roads in and around the Waitākere Ranges. Auckland Transport wishes to remind Aucklanders that safety is the first priority, so care should be taken along the following roads:
- Lone Kauri Road
- Piha Road – slip between Lone Kauri Road and Karekare Road
- Falls Road
- Te Henga Road – slip by Unity Road intersection
- Te Henga Road - slip just after the Falls Road intersection
- Te Henga Road – major slip
- Mountain Road – major slip meaning the road is not a thoroughfare. Please use alternative roads to access the top of Mountain Road
Auckland Transport is regularly monitoring so that changes can be made to protect the road where needed and prevent more damage from occurring.
Being at level 3 has meant that contractors have been able to start on the final storm clean up. This includes clearing driveway culverts, picking up storm debris on the side of the road etc. However, given that the whole network has been in lockdown for five weeks, there is a backlog of urgent jobs across the areas. As a result, all urgent requests, storm-related or otherwise, are being prioritised and worked through and Auckland Transport asks for patience from drivers during this time.
Waiheke and Great Barrier closed to visitors
A new health order under Alert Level 3 means that travel to Waiheke and Aotea Great Barrier islands for recreation is prohibited unless you are a resident of either of the islands.
Neither island has had a case of COVID-19 and with limited healthcare services in place combined with older populations, the new rule will help to reduce risk for the island’s residents.
For more information, visit OurAuckland.
With this weekend being the first under Step 1, plenty of us will want to get out and make the most of the parks and green spaces across our region. But there are also a number of us who would prefer to stay at home or in our neighbourhood.
Auckland Council’s Together At Home campaign provides plenty of things to do whether you want to enjoy friends or family from another bubble or prefer to stay at home. Whether it is looking for an idea to help feed your mind; wanting to move your body in a new way; finding a new way to lift your spirits during this challenging time; or simply needing something exciting to help the whānau (family) and tamariki (kids) get through the school holidays.
There are lots of ideas of how to explore nature in your backyard or at your local park, exercises that you can do as a whānau, or new ways to learn together.
With ideas and opportunities from across the wider Auckland Council group including Auckland Council Libraries, Auckland Council Corporate Records and Archives, pools and leisure, parks services, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Watercare, Auckland Unlimited, Auckland Zoo and Auckland Maritime Museum, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained while also discovering new things about this beautiful region.