The new 'level 2.5' rules Aucklanders need to know

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 30 Aug 2020, 10:26AM
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wearing a mask (Photo / NZ Herald)
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wearing a mask (Photo / NZ Herald)

The new 'level 2.5' rules Aucklanders need to know

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 30 Aug 2020, 10:26AM

As Aucklanders prepare to shed the shackles of Covid-19 alert level 3 lockdown at 11.59pm tonight, there are a few modifications to what level 2 will mean this time around that people need to be aware of.

The size of allowable gatherings will not increase to 100 but only 10 for Aucklanders at this modified level 2.

This applies to all social gatherings, including birthday parties and gatherings, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.

She described it as "level 2.5".

The only exception is for Auckland funerals and tangihanga - which can have up to 50 people.

Masks and face coverings will also be compulsory on public transport and planes and encouraged for anyone in public.

"We know masks protect you and the people around you," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

"They limit the chance of Covid-19 spreading in places where is often harder to distance yourself and to trace people."

Otherwise, level 2 is as you will remember it from mid-April. But what does that entail again?

 

Leaving the house

Yes you can leave the house at your own discretion regardless of whether it is for food or exercise. So those beach trips will be officially okay to just lounge on the sand.

But the 2m social distancing rule on the street and in stores such as the supermarket applies.

Obviously, don't go out in public if you're sick and don't board public transport.

Take extra precautions around travelling outside if you're in an at-risk group for Covid.

Make sure you keep records of any travel services you use, particularly public transport because HOP cards do not record this information

The police checkpoints at Auckland's highway borders will be removed and regional travel will resume in and out of the Super City limits.

You'll also be able to bike and drive wherever you like.

Alert2
Going to work

All workplaces, including those with face-to-face interaction, can open but you're encouraged to wear a face covering if you can.

Keep washing your hands and keep track of where you've been and who you've met.

School

All early childhood centres, schools, polytechs and universities will be open.

Party-time?

Well, if it's a party of 10 people or under then yes, but that's the limit regardless of whether it's a wedding, church service, community sport event, or a private function. But funerals can have 50 people.

But outside Auckland the limit on gatherings is 100 as it has been for their entire level 2 restrictions the past two and a half weeks.

Therefore, there is a difference between Auckland's level 2 from tomorrow and the rest of New Zealand.

If you are the host, you should keep records on who attends for contact tracing purposes - unless every person at the event knows each other. There should be physical distancing where possible, and surfaces should be kept clean.

Cafes, bars, and other places where people might gather have to make sure that groups don't mingle with each other - such as in queues to the bathroom.

Going to the gym or pub

Yes, these liberties will be available to Aucklanders at level 2 and many public venues such as gyms, pools, museums, libraries, cinemas, bars, restaurants and community centres will open on Monday.

Cafes and bars and other spaces can actually have up to 100 people on their premises. This includes Auckland, but they have to be separated into distinct groups of 10 that are seated, don't mingle with other groups, and ideally only be served by one person.

You can also get a haircut.

All these businesses and places must display Covid tracer QR codes and make sure individuals are kept 1m apart. You're also encouraged to wear a mask at these places.

Exercise outdoors

Yes - you can do all of your usual fitness or recreation activities, as long as you do them safely.

That includes walking, biking, swimming, hunting, and boating. You can also go whitebaiting.

Getting a Covid test

If you have cold or flu symptoms then you should definitely get a test. Call Healthline (0800 358 5453), your doctor or iwi health provider and they will talk you through it.

Many of the same precautions are still in place. There are still tight controls at the border, testing, and self-isolation for anyone who is unwell.