While the Easter break was to have signalled the start of the school holidays and the traditional end of the summer weather for many, it's important to acknowledge that this year will be a little different, says Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management group controller Craig Campbell-Smart.
"Life at Alert Level 4 means that the Easter break will be a lot different this year."
With a country-wide lockdown in place, people will be unable to do many of the things they normally do in their Easter break he says.
"If you were planning to head away for the Easter break, then the lockdown will have put paid to those plans. Holidays, trips to the bach, going tramping, surfing, hunting or a road trip are simply not options this year."
Taranaki's public boat ramps have been closed, as recreational boating is among the activities that can't take place. This helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and also eliminates the risk that a jaunt in the boat may result in an emergency call-out at a time when responders need to stay safe and focus on the pandemic.
"Like everyone else, boaties must play their part," says Craig. "Outdoor recreation groups, Search and Rescue and water safety bodies are all saying the same thing – stay home this Easter."
People will be able to still find ways to celebrate Easter without leaving their bubble however, even if they can't attend church this year, he says.
"For those that mark the religious significance of Easter, there are many online services available to help do so without compromising the isolation of your bubble."
Craig says people should spend the Easter period relaxing at home.
"It remains critically important that we stay at home, minimise any travel to essential tasks only – that's supermarket shopping or heading to the pharmacy or doctor – and stay within our physical bubbles. Take the Easter break to remotely connect with friends and family, pausing from any work you may be doing at home, and enjoy a staycation with those in your bubble. It's a really valuable opportunity to pause and relax a little, which is easy to forget as we try and juggle everyday life in a lockdown situation."
There are plenty of things people can do to celebrate or mark Easter without breaking their bubble says Craig. He says there are all sorts of creative ideas online to mark the occasion, from setting up Easter egg hunts, sharing online meals via online networking tools or joining a live streamed church service.
"Our supermarkets are able to open every day except Good Friday, so in addition to shopping normally, you will be able to pick up Easter eggs and hot cross buns."
Here's what we all need to do during Alert Level 4:
Stay at home as much as you can.
If you do venture beyond home, stay in your neighbourhood.
Keep it solitary when going out, just by yourself or with the people you live with.
Keep a 2 metre distance from people who are not part of your bubble.
Only drive to get essential supplies, such as groceries or visiting the pharmacy.
Don't drive to beaches or second homes. This is not essential travel.
Help our emergency services by only doing safe activities, such as going for a walk, run or bike ride. Don't go swimming, surfing, hunting or tramping.
Don't touch surfaces others may have touched and avoid park benches, playgrounds and skateparks.
Wash your hands regularly with soap.