Yesterday afternoon the Government announced we are extending the Alert Level 4 lockdown for the next week and from Tuesday 28 April we will move to Alert Level 3 as we continue to attempt to eliminate the Covid-19 coronavirus from our shores.
I know not everyone will be happy with this decision, but we must continue to follow the rules of lockdown to ensure we get this right the first time. The last thing anyone wants is to come out of lockdown only to return later down the road.
I have had many people get in touch who are struggling during this lockdown, whether it’s people who have lost their jobs, business owners wondering about the future viability of their business, or just those who miss their family and friends. We knew this wouldn’t be easy, but we are in a unique position compared to the rest of the world to get rid of this virus and return to normalcy sooner.
If you do need some assistance or just someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or my office. We will do our best to assist you. You can contact us on 09 572 0000 or at PakurangaMP@parliament.govt.nz.
The decision to move to Level 3 from next week is a welcome one. However, it is vitally important that everyone understand the differences between Level 4 and Level 3 and keep following the rules to ensure we do not end up back in Level 4 down the road. Level 3 will not be much easier than Level 4, so please do not take it lightly.
The full list of changes can be found by clicking here and visiting the Covid-19 government website, and I encourage you all to read them fully, but the main changes are as follows:
- Kiwis will still be asked to stay at home and within their household bubble whenever they are not fulfilling essential tasks like work, school, or getting things like groceries, but can now extend their bubble to include other family members they may not have seen during Alert Level 4.
- ALL activities, whether work or recreational, must continue to follow the physical distancing and basic hygiene protocols. Businesses that can follow these rules and that cannot work from home will be allowed to reopen, such as those in the construction and forestry sectors, but any business who cannot follow these rules or whose employees can work from home should continue to do so.
- This rule applies to schools as well. ECEs and schools will reopen for all children up to Year 10, but only for those who cannot remain at home during the day. This would include children of parents who cannot work from home and cannot leave their children at home alone. Otherwise, all children who can are encouraged to continue learning from home. Some local schools have indicated to me that the learning process will primarily remain online regardless of whether the student is at school or at home, to ensure no-one is disadvantaged.
- You can continue to get out for walks and other exercise in your local parks and beaches but again, you must continue to follow the distancing and hygiene protocols. You should not travel far for this – the rule here is visit your local, not your favourite.
- Travel is still heavily restricted to tasks considered essential, such as going to work or getting groceries. You will still not be allowed to travel between regions or go to your holiday home. A few specific exceptions exist to this rule, which can be found at the website.
- Up to 10 people will be allowed to gather for a funeral or wedding service, but not a wedding reception.
As with the move to Level 4, there will be some growing pains and confusion about the rules and how they apply to you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with my office if you cannot find the answers you are looking for, and we will do our best to get you some clarification.