Waipā residents are being urged to refrain from using public playgrounds and exercise equipment, skateparks, BMX tracks and boat ramps throughout alert level 3.

New Zealand is now at alert level 3 and will remain at this level for two weeks before Cabinet makes further decisions on May 11.

During this time, public facilities such as the Cambridge Pump Track and the Pop 'n' Good bike skills park in Te Awamutu will remain closed to the public.

Waipā District Council community services manager Sally Sheedy said while level 3 would offer more freedom to residents it was still very restrictive.


"The risk to the public posed by Covid-19 is still very high so we need to make sure we are taking all necessary precautions to keep residents and council staff safe.

"The main issue with playgrounds is that equipment could become contaminated with the virus, and then spread to other people. It is also difficult to maintain physical distancing at playgrounds, so for now, these areas are still no-go zones," said Sheedy.

"Skateparks, boat ramps and BMX tracks will also stay shut due to the risks they pose. We know most residents are very responsible but allowing people to use these facilities with high touch points could put emergency services and our healthcare system under unnecessary strain in the case of an accident."

Sheedy said Council would look to reopen the majority of these facilities once the country moved to alert level 2.

"Depending on advice from the Government, we will look to reopen playgrounds, skateparks and other facilities when it is safe to do so. However, we will still require residents to practise physical distancing."

Sheedy reminded people to keep at least two metres of space between themselves and others when using parks and reserves for fresh air and exercise.

"All our parks which were open during the lockdown, with the addition of the Mt Kakepuku track, will remain open throughout this alert level.

"However, please keep in mind that we are still fighting against Covid-19 and need to ensure we are following the rules to prevent a second outbreak."


For more information on Council services during alert level 3, head to www.waipadc.govt.nz/covid-19-information.