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Source: Auckland Council

As we approach our first weekend in alert level 3, we’ve pulled together some of the key information you need to know.

Aucklanders have done a great job to help stop the spread of COVID-19 during alert level 4 and now is not the time to get complacent. So please keep up the good work: stay home, work from home if you can, travel only for essential services, work or school and maintain physical distance of at least two metres from anyone who is not in your bubble.

Alert Level 3 reminders

Under alert level 3, restrictions around some activities have been lifted. Experienced swimmers and surfers have been able to get back into the water but need to maintain physical distance from those not in their bubble and to avoid taking risks. Fishing from a wharf is allowed but boating is still off limits.

Public transport is available for those who need to use it for work, school and accessing local services. For those using public transport, there are a number of measures in place to ensure passengers stay safe on board.

Kerbside rubbish, recycling and food scrap collections continue as normal. Please follow our advice to ensure your kerbside collection is picked up. Waitākere Refuse and Recycling Station will be open for limited hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays from Friday 1 May to accept refuse and green waste and there will be limited services at some Community Recycling Centres. The “pay as you throw” refuse service is running as normal at Level 3, and tags will be checked and collected by the drivers.

Regional parks remain closed to vehicles but you can access them on foot if you’re local. Small gatherings (up to ten people) at cemeteries are permitted to farewell loved ones. Other community facilities including our libraries, pools, art galleries, playgrounds, basketball courts, skate parks and pump tracks will remain closed. Most public toilets including those in parks will also remain closed.

Be sure to continue regular handwashing, and if you are sick, stay at home and quickly seek advice from your GP or Healthline about getting a test. Working together in this way will give us the best chance of ensuring that we can move quickly to Level 2 and that we don’t have to return to Level 4 lockdown.

Take care on the roads

In Alert Level 3 the advice remains the same – stay home as much as possible and only travel when necessary. We’ve seen more traffic on the roads this week than has been seen in recent weeks, as more people return to work and school. 

Drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and any other road users need pay extra attention to their surroundings, especially at intersections. Social distancing is still in place. When using shared pathways or footpaths, remember to keep a two-metre distance from anyone outside of your bubble.

Save water

With drought gripping the region it’s important all Aucklanders do their bit to reduce their water consumption. The region has received less than half the normal rainfall and dam levels continue to drop with total water storage now at 46.5 per cent.

Becoming more water wise can really make a difference. If all Aucklanders jumped on board and halved their shower time to 4 minutes, we’d save 80 million litres a day. Turning the tap off while brushing your teeth or shaving can also save bucketloads. Visit Watercare for the latest information.

Weather watch

Auckland’s golden weather run has continued during the last few weeks. But some much-needed rain is in the forecast this weekend and being autumn could mean increased wind and wilder weather events.  

In case bad weather should hit, it is a good opportunity to get prepared. Tie down or bring indoors outdoor furniture, clear your drains, make sure you’ve got torches and batteries. 

Auckland Emergency Management has some simple tips for making your place storm-ready:  

  • Be prepared – pay attention to weather forecasts and prepare yourself before the storm hits
  • Only if it is safe to do so – clear gutters and drains on your property, check trees for weak branches
  • Bring the cat/dog/rabbit (or any other pets) inside
  • Have torches and batteries, a full gas bottle for your bbq and a battery-operated radio ready if the power goes out
  • If you need power to pump water or operate septic systems, have an alternate plan in place i the power goes out
  • If it is isolated where you live or you may get cut off, make sure you’ve got everything you need to keep going for a day or two
  • Phone your neighbours, especially those that are elderly or vulnerable and if you can’t help, alert emergency services
  • If your property is at risk or your life is in danger, always dial 111 immediately
  • Report fallen trees, blocked drains or debris on public property to Auckland Council on 09 301 0101 (These services continue during COVID-19 as part of the council’s limited essential services role).

Food support for those who need it

AEM continues to respond to those Aucklanders who need our help at this time. The service remains a one-off stop gap for those still having difficulties getting food or essential supplies and is intended for people and whānau who don’t have any other options available to them. The service operates seven days a week from 7am to 7pm. Call Auckland Emergency Management welfare response helpline on 0800 22 22 96.

Te Pouwhakarae, which was established through the AEM response function, has continued to provide support to Māori communities, and resulted in approximately 1,239 kai, hygiene, care parcels distributed to Māori.

Where to turn for information and support

The latest COVID-19 help, advice and updates from Government are available at Covid19.govt.nz

  • Managing your mental wellbeing – If you feel you’re not coping, it’s important to talk with a health professional. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor.
  • Financial support – Work and Income call centres are experiencing very high demand at the moment, so it’s recommended you check the website first. If you don’t have access to the internet you can call on 0800 559 009. 
  • Feeling unwell – if have health questions, call your GP before you visit. Or call Healthline on 0800 358 5453
  • If you’re not sure what assistance may be available, or you don’t know who to contact for help, phone the Government Helpline on 0800 779 997 (8am – 10pm, 7 days a week).

MIL OSI