Tauranga City Council has proactively closed all venues under their care in the aim to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Tauranga City Libraries, Bay Venues Limited, Tauranga Art Gallery and Baycourt Community and Arts Centre have decided to close their doors to protect the community from the spread Covid-19.

Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell, said this was the right decision to make to flatten the curve, protect Tauranga people and support the national effort.

"This decision by us and our partners was the right one to make to protect our staff, community and city. Especially those who are vulnerable.

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"As we have seen around the world, it takes us all working as a community to stop the spread. I ask for your understanding and support during this unprecedented event."

Ten-year-old Levi Kelly at Baywave in 2017. Photo / File
Ten-year-old Levi Kelly at Baywave in 2017. Photo / File

Discussions about the closures had started last week, but the announcement by the Ministry of Health served as a reminder of the severity of this pandemic Powell said.

A Tauranga man in his 30s who recently returned from the United States is the city's first positive Covid-19 case.

He is among the 14 new confirmed cases announced on Sunday, bringing the total number in New Zealand now to 66, the Ministry of Health said.

The Tauranga man had returned to New Zealand on March 17 on a flight from the United States. His flight details were yet to be made public.

Waikato University campus on Durham St, Tauranga is holding all lessons online for the next week. Photo / File
Waikato University campus on Durham St, Tauranga is holding all lessons online for the next week. Photo / File

The University of Waikato has suspended face to face teaching for a week, starting from Monday.

The temporary suspension is to allow the educational institute to prepare to move to a more comprehensive online programme delivery.

In an email to University of Waikato students, the University said: "From Monday March 30, all lectures will be video captured. Labs, workshops, and tutorials will be also set up to minimise contact and increase physical distances."

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This includes the University of Waikato Tauranga campus.

The University will remain open throughout the five day teaching suspension, with teaching still available for the fully online paper courses.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council Recycling Centre's have closed along with libraries and pools. Photo / File
Western Bay of Plenty District Council Recycling Centre's have closed along with libraries and pools. Photo / File

All Western Bay of Plenty District Council libraries, service centres, swimming pools and recycling centres across the district will close later today.

The council made the announcement this morning to support the Government's efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The council's chief executive Miriam Taris said: "Many of our facilities include communal spaces with people in close contact.

"While they are important hubs across our district our community and our country's health must come first."

The closure includes all pools and libraries in the councils care and the Community Recycling and Greenwaste Centres in Katikati, Athenree, Omokoroa, Te Puke.

The fortnightly rural recycling trial programme at BP Pongakawa has also been cancelled.

Following the closure of the libraries and service centres, there will be a 48-hour grace period should people wish to undertake any last-minute transactions – until 5pm Wednesday, Taris said.

This will be done on a one at a time model via the after-hours library book return slot.

To help do their bit, the public is advised not to return any library books currently issued. Any issued books will be extended meaning no overdue fees.

To help promote the Ministry of Health's social distancing guideline of two metres between people, the council's free Wi-Fi capabilities at all library and service centres will be unavailable for the duration of the closure.

"At the present time, we will continue to make calculated decisions to balance continuity of council services with the safety of the public and minimisation of the spread of Covid-19."

Uzabus has cancelled some of its routes due to the age of the drivers. Photo / File
Uzabus has cancelled some of its routes due to the age of the drivers. Photo / File

Following Government announcements this weekend the Ministry of Education has advised all bus drivers over 70 along with drivers that have a compromised immune system or have underlying health conditions are to stay at home from today.

Uzabus announced the decision has had a significant impact on services operated which has resulted in the following school route and SESTA service cancellations effective from this today.

Uzabus apologise for the inconvenience this may cause. Due to the rapidly changing situation, the company plans to keep residents updated as developments arise.

For a full list of cancelled routes click here.

George Stewart, station manager at the Historic Village radio station in 2018. Photo / File
George Stewart, station manager at the Historic Village radio station in 2018. Photo / File

"Village Radio" will also be taking a break from broadcasting due to Covid-19.

In response to Coronavirus recommendations, Tauranga Village Radio will reluctantly take a break from broadcasting from today due to the age of those volunteering.

Chairman Brian Williams said, "Village Radio regrets having to take this step, and apologises to all the loyal elderly listeners for whom Village Radio is a daily companion.

"The majority of volunteers delivering these programmes are more than 70 years old, and official advice is to stay home."

The follow facilities will be closed:

Tauranga City Library:

Closed from 9.30am March 23.

The digital library will still be available, and council will continue to reassess hours with the goal of opening once the risk has been minimised.

If you have any library items, please hold onto them for now. You will not accrue any late fines on library items.

Bay Venues:
All Aquatic Facilities, Trustpower Arena and Stadium, all community centres, halls, and indoor sports centres will be closed from 12pm March 23. Any activities that take place within these facilities will also be suspended.

This announcement follows Friday's closure of BayActive Sports Leagues, Tumble Time, Baywave Friday Fun Nights and the Baywave Sauna/Steam Room access.

Bay Venues chief executive officer Gary Dawson. Photo / File
Bay Venues chief executive officer Gary Dawson. Photo / File

The only exemption to the closing of facilities and activities is the Baywave Early Childhood Centre and childcare programmes that run in Bay Venues facilities as these are deemed to be an essential service by the Ministry of Education.

Tauranga Art Gallery:
The Art Gallery will be closed to the general public and all visitors from 10am March 23.

Gallery staff are working on initiatives to enable the public to access and view the current exhibitions online and to vote for the Miles Art Awards 2020 Exhibition's People Choice.

Further details will be announced on the Tauranga Art Gallery website and social media.

Baycourt Community and Arts Centre:
Box Office will also be closed from 9am March 23. This announcement follows Wednesday's decision to cancel all performances until March 31.