Wellington City Council is extending its online library services to those who don't have memberships to help people through the Covid-19 lockdown.

Previously, library memberships could only be issued in person.

But as of today, people can fill out a form online and the libraries team will email a library card number to access online resources.

This initial membership will last for six months, and once the current restrictions are lifted, people can visit any of the council's 12 libraries to sign the official application form and extend their membership.

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Library and community spaces manager Laurinda Thomas said it meant people could access thousands of books, newspapers magazines, movie and music streaming services online during lockdown.

"Libraries are important spaces to support, engage, educate and entertain people. As everyone apart from essential services are being asked to stay at home, we have made key changes to our services to support peoples' wellbeing over the coming weeks."

The due date for items on loan has already been extended to May 4.

Thomas said there was no need for customers to renew their items or return them and they should stay at home and keep their items.

"If the Government is required to extend the Covid-19 restrictions, we will automatically extend all items again for the duration. No one will be charged new overdue fees."

The library is now considering how to provide popular programmes via livestream or video.

Wellington residents, students and people staying or working in the city can complete the online form to access online services here.

Wellington City Council has also said kerbside recycling collections will be halted from midnight tonight until further notice.

Mayor Andy Foster said the decision was based on health and safety.

"Wellington City Council's contractors, like most other employers, have a limited staff roster and so we must ensure they focus on collecting rubbish – which is an essential public health service.

Foster said workers were facing too great a risk, given Covid-19 could remain active for up to three days on some surfaces like plastic, metal and glass.

Foster acknowledged the move would be very disappointing for avid recyclers but for as long as the country was at alert level 4, the operation would cease.

"Either put your recycling into your yellow rubbish bags or private waste collection wheelie-bins or, if you don't want your recyclables to be landfilled, then wash them thoroughly and safely stockpile them until the recycling service resumes."

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The council's weekly rubbish collection service would continue as normal.

The council said yellow rubbish bags were being delivered to supermarkets within 48 hours of them being ordered.