Covid 19: How far can you extend your bubble before it pops?

Author
Nikki Preston, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 Apr 2020, 4:30PM
Head to the beach - but choose one close to you. Photo / Alex Burton
Head to the beach - but choose one close to you. Photo / Alex Burton

Covid 19: How far can you extend your bubble before it pops?

Author
Nikki Preston, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 Apr 2020, 4:30PM

As the country heads closers towards moving out of lockdown, there's still a lot of burning questions about what you can and can't do under alert level 3.

The Herald has compiled a list of answers to readers' burnings questions with the help of infectious diseases expert Dr Siouxsie Wiles.

My boyfriend lives in a different household, can I visit him?

Yes, as long as your bubble and his bubble is exclusive and not merging with other bubbles. But please keep in mind the need to minimise the amount we travel around.

I'm going back to work - can I still expand my bubble to include my elderly parents?

Yes, though given they are at high risk of severe illness, it would be best not to unless absolutely necessary.

My sister and I are in different bubbles, can we both go and visit our parents who are in their own bubble?

No. Bubbles must stay within their immediate household bubble, but can expand this by one of two people to reconnect with close family/whānau, or bring in caregivers, or support isolated people. These people do not need to live in the same household, but must be local. Always keep your bubble exclusive, and keep it small. That means you and your sister will need to choose whose bubble expands to include your parents.

My husband and I are over 70, can we go to the supermarket?

This would be a personal choice. People at high risk of severe illness (older people and those with existing medical conditions) are encouraged to stay at home where possible, but should take additional precautions when leaving home.

I live in Hamilton but work in Auckland - can I travel between the two regions?

Yes. Everyone can travel for work within their region or to a neighbouring region. You should only travel if it is necessary. Essential workers can travel outside of their regions if necessary.

Head to the beach - but choose one close to you. Photo / Alex Burton
Head to the beach - but choose one close to you. Photo / Alex Burton

Can I travel from Penrose to Omaha to the beach since they are both within the Auckland region?

No. You should go to your nearest beach or park, not your favourite one. Stay local where you can and do not travel outside your region if you don't have to.

I have been in lockdown in Wellington but have to return to Auckland for work - can I do this before the lockdown is lifted?

No. People must only be travelling where it is essential under level 4. You must wait until we move to level 3 to travel. You can travel to a different region for work or to re-enter a bubble but it must only be in one direction.

If my children are continuing distance learning, can they play with our neighbours kids?

No. Bubbles must stay within your household where possible. Only small expansions are allowed and they must be exclusive. Level 3 doesn't mean you or your kids can regain their social lives.

I work at a fast food chain - what happens if we can't always be more than 1m apart?

Workplaces must operate safely – keeping 1m between workers, recording who is working together, limiting interaction between groups of workers, disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining high hygiene standards. They shouldn't open if they can't follow this.

Can I take the kids to a bike park?

Low-risk local recreation activities such as mountain biking are allowed, but public venues including playgrounds are closed. If using a bike park does not use any common equipment touched by people from outside your bubble. You need to do things safely so if you've never been to a bike park now is not the time to start.

I'm a gardener - can I return to work?

Yes as long as you are maintaining a physical distance of at least 1m from others.

Can my electrician come and fix a light?

Yes, tradespeople can come to your home to do any repair work as long as you are adhering to the public health measures and the tradesperson maintains a 2m distance from those in the house. Home cleaners cannot enter people's homes.

If I order my meat from my butcher, can I enter the store to collect and pay for it?

No, you cannot enter the store as retail storefront cannot open to customers. You could still buy from them if contactless purchase and delivery, including drive-through and click and collect is available.

Can I move house?

Yes. People may travel between regions, including using domestic air services to move house. All freight can be moved around the country and moving companies can operate as long as they do so safely.

Can I go to the dentist or physio?

Yes but healthcare services, where possible, should be a virtual, non-contact consultation.

Toys can only be purchased from stores operating online and offering delivery or contactless pick up. Photo / Supplied
Toys can only be purchased from stores operating online and offering delivery or contactless pick up. Photo / Supplied

Can I buy my kids a toy or myself a new top?

Yes. If the shop is operating an online service and can deliver or has a click and collect option.

 Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website