Dunedin residents are being urged to maintain their bubble – and lock in the gains made over the last month – as the city prepares to move to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 next week.
The step down from Alert Level 4, scheduled for 11.59pm on Monday, April 27, will see some changes to life in Dunedin, but also the continuation of significant and important restrictions across the city.
Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said the risk covid-19 had reduced, but had not gone away.
“The announcement by the Prime Minister this week gives us some light at the end of the tunnel,’’ Mr Hawkins said.
“If we take the next three weeks as seriously as the last four, we’ll be able to operate with a greater degree of normality by the middle of May.”
The Dunedin City Council’s essential services – such as drinking water, wastewater and rubbish collection – will continue unaffected by the move from Alert Level 4 to 3.
Under Alert Level 3, more businesses will be able to operate, but many people will still be working from home, and most children and young people will be learning from home.
People must continue to stay in their household bubbles unless they are at work, school, accessing essential services such as buying groceries, or exercising.
Some changes to council services will also be introduced with Alert Level 3, including restarting the city’s kerbside glass recycling service.
Key maintenance work will also resume, including the cleaning of mud-tanks and the sweeping of gutters, cutting the grass on the city’s sports fields and work at Dunedin Botanic Garden.
Work on large-scale projects like the Peninsula Connection will also ramp up again.
Importantly, surfers and swimmers will also be allowed back in the water, but Mr Hawkins stressed they should only go to their local beach.
Mountain bike tracks on council-owned land will also open for use once again, but riders should only use those they could bike or walk to.
They should also only ride to their level of experience, to avoid accidents which could emergency services at risk.
Other DCC facilities will remain closed under Alert Level 3, including Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, Lan Yuan – Dunedin Chinese Garden, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Olveston Historic Home and Dunedin Public Libraries.
DCC-owned sports and recreational facilities, such as Forsyth Barr Stadium, the Edgar Centre and Moana Pool, will also remain closed, as will DCC freedom camping sites.
The city’s parks, reserves and walking tracks will remain open, as long as physical distancing is observed, and people can still walk through DCC playgrounds, but must continue not to use play equipment.
Dog parks will remain closed, but owners can still take their dogs for walks as long as their pets remained under control at all times.
Free parking for motorists will also continue at all on and off-street car parks, including the Moray Place and Great King Street car parking buildings, which remain open.
Time limits and other restrictions will still apply, and enforcement will resume under Alert Level 3 – meaning people who park illegally or overstay limits could be issued with infringement notices.
The public tap at Portobello will also continue to open for limited hours every Wednesday and Saturday under Alert Level 3.
Resource and building consent applications received electronically will also continue to be processed under Alert Level 3.
For more information, visit www.dunedin.govt.nz/COVID-19