Manawatū-Whanganui Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group continues to support the Horizons region at Alert Level 3.

MWCDEM Group controller Craig Grant says that the Emergency Coordination Centre, which has been activated for over six weeks, will continue to coordinate the regional response for Covid-19 and provide a local welfare helpline for those who need assistance.

"The reality is that not much changes for civil defence at Alert Level 3, as well as for our communities," says Grant.

"While more people are going to be able to return to work under Level 3, many of those who are vulnerable in our communities will still require assistance and we'd like to assure them that our welfare helpline will continue to operate.

"This is available to all residents in the Horizons Region seven days a week between 7am and 7pm on 0800 725 678."

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The helpline is answered by Horizons Regional and Palmerston North City Council staff, with enquiries passed on to the relevant district council who follow through on the welfare need.

Grant says it's important that at Alert Level 3 everyone does their part to strive for the elimination of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

"Remember, stay at home, other than for essential personal movement, and going to work or school. Stay in your extended bubble, which can now include close family or caregivers.

"Keep two metres apart as much as possible and while it is acceptable to travel within the region now, remember this is still for essential reasons only and to make the least number of trips as possible.

"Also please remember to keep checking in on those who are vulnerable or lonely and stay connected in a safe way.

"If we can keep up the good work to date, we will hopefully see more progress in the right direction over the coming weeks."

He says there is also work going into regional recovery planning focusing on the economic and social impact on communities.

"Each city and district council in the region has a dedicated recovery manager in place to assess how people are coping and what action may be required.

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"They are also looking ahead to what the transition of Level 3 to Level 2 will look like when it happens."

For up-to-date local information regarding the Covid-19 response, see the MWCDEM Facebook page and for all other information covid19.govt.nz