New Zealand is officially on a nationwide lockdown and a state of emergency has been declared. All non-essential businesses are closed and for the most part, we all have to stay home. Kristin Macfarlane looks at what people can and can't do over the next four weeks.
What you can do:
• Act and behave like you have Covid-19 by avoiding people and places to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
• Spend time with people in your direct household.
• Go for a walk or exercise and enjoy fresh air, but keep a 2medistance from people at all times. Take your children outside and spend time with the people you are isolating with, but do it close to home.
• Drive in private vehicles in your own town/city for essential reasons like going to the supermarket or pharmacy.
• Children in shared custody arrangements can go between parents' households as long as they live within the same community, city or town. If not, they will have to spend the lockdown with one parent.
• Go to the beach, but avoid other people not in your isolation group.
• Go to a supermarket or dairy for essential items. Follow all the safety measures in place to reduce the risk of getting or spreading Covid-19.
• If people need to see a doctor or other medical professional they must phone first. Most consultations will be over the phone or by videoconference to stop any risk of the disease spreading by person-to-person contact.
• Put rubbish out for kerbside collection.
What you can't do:
• If they don't live in your household, you can not visit or socialise with others outside your household - even elderly family members.
• Go out on the water. That includes fishing, surfing, boating, kayaking. Anyone who does could need rescuing, putting themselves, Coastguard volunteers and staff and health professionals in harm's way.
• Share custody of children if the parents or caregivers live in separate towns/cities.
• Go hunting. You might think you're safe and well away from other people but should you get lost, injured or need other help, you put search and rescue teams at risk and could burden health and emergency service resources.
• Use public playground equipment. Councils' playgrounds in parks, reserves and recreational areas have closed.
• Use recycling and greenwaste centres at Katikati, Athenree, Omokoroa, Te Puke and the fortnightly rural recycling trial programme at BP Pongakawa.
• Use Rotorua Lakes Council carparks, public facilities and playgrounds in parks, reserves, including carparks, public facilities and playgrounds in the Tokorangi Forest and Whakarewarewa Forest. These are closed.
• Many Tauranga City Council park gates will be locked, but people could still go for walks in public with strict physical distancing.
• Use any of the Mauao walking tracks.
• Enter McLaren Falls Park.
• Drive to other towns/cities.
What are essential businesses?
Businesses that are essential to the necessities of life, and those that support them. This means food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support.
What businesses can remain open during the four-week lockdown?
Dairies, with a one-in-one-out rule. They cannot sell cooked food.
Meals-on-wheels and whole-food delivery (eg subscription food boxes).
Self-service laundries, with 2m physical distancing to be enforced.
Bunnings, Placemakers, Mitre 10 and other retailers essential to the supply chain for building and construction can stay open to trade customers for essential purposes only. The Warehouse will close.
Pulp and paper plants will shut down their non-essential elements, while maintaining essential production.
Methanex can remain in production, but at a scale consistent with the stability of gas supply.
• Retirement villages and businesses providing accommodation services for essential workers, people who need to be isolated/quarantined, emergency housing.
• Customs New Zealand, Immigration New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Building and construction:
• Building and construction related to essential services, critical infrastructure, or immediately needed to maintain human health and safety at home/work.
Courts, tribunals and the justice system:
• Courts and tribunals and critical Crown entities (eg Electoral Commission).
Fast-moving consumer goods:
• Businesses involved in the supply, delivery, distribution and sale of food, beverages and other key consumer goods (not take-away shops).
• Banks, insurers and other financial institutions, including any entity that contracts or provides services to them (eg secure money delivery services); securities registries and
• District health boards (and all of their facilities), Pharmac, New Zealand Blood Service, Health Promotion Agency, Health Quality and Safety Commission.
• Health professionals such as doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, paramedics, medical laboratory scientists, kaiāwhina workers, social workers, aged care and community workers, and caregivers.
• Funeral homes, crematories, cemeteries, ambulance services, businesses producing health sector equipment, medicines and PPE.
Local and national government:
• Any entity involved in Covid-19 response or that has Civil Defence/emergency management functions and key public services.
Primary industries, including food and beverage production and processing:
• Packaging, production and processing of food and beverage products.
• Food safety and verification, inspection or associated laboratory services, food safety and biosecurity functions.
• Veterinary and animal health/welfare services.
Public safety and national security:
• Emergency services.
• Security and intelligence services.
• Justice system.
• Public safety and national security roles.
• Any entity (including research organisations) involved in Covid-19 response, hazard monitoring, resilience, diagnostics for essential services.
• Other significant research facilities including animal facilities, clinical trials and infrastructure that requires constant attention (eg samples, collections and storage facilities) important to New Zealand.
• Welfare and social services.
Transport and logistics:
• Transport services.
• New Zealand Post and courier services.
• Any small passenger service vehicle driver – including taxis and ride-share services.
• Businesses providing services to keep vehicles operational for essential work purposes (eg vehicle testing, mechanics, tyre services).
Utilities and communications, including supply chains:
• Electricity, gas, water, waste, fuel, telecommunication services, internet providers and media.