Oh no! Not Level 2 again!

On Tuesday night, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced there were four new cases of community transmission of coronavirus in New Zealand following 102 days without.

As a result, Auckland returned to Alert Level 3 lockdown as of noon yesterday until midnight Friday. The rest of us are now in Alert Level 2 for the same period.

What do we know so far?

 On Tuesday four new cases of coronavirus through community transmission were announced in New Zealand, all were from the same household in Auckland

Contact tracing has begun, but there is not yet an "immediate link" to overseas travel or a managed isolation facility

Aucklanders are asked to stay home to stop the potential spread of coronavirus

So what does this mean for us down here in Wānaka?

People can visit friends and family, and socialise in groups of up to 100, go shopping or travel around if following public health guidance. So this is good news.

We must keep physical distancing of two metres from people we don't know when out in public or at the shops. Keep one-metre physical distancing in controlled environments like workplaces, where practical. Not so bad.

No more than 100 people at gatherings, including weddings, birthdays, funerals and tangihanga. So that may mean the High Country Conference scheduled later this month may not happen. Not good, I wanted to go.

Businesses must follow public health guidance, including physical distancing and record keeping. Alternative ways of working are encouraged where possible. We've been there before. We know how to do this.

Hospitality businesses must keep groups of customers separated, seated and served by a single person. Well, they have plenty of practice at this.

Sport and recreation activities are allowed, subject to conditions on gatherings, record keeping, and physical distancing where practical. So you can go to the Rec Centre gym or the swimming pool. And winter field sports (soccer, rugby and wot not)  can continue to the end of the season…hopefully.

Public places such as museums and libraries will open if they comply with public health measures and ensure one-metre physical distancing and record keeping. So the library will be open.

So what about the ski fields?

Bridget Legnavsky, CEO of both Cardrona and Treble Cone said the fields were closed yesterday as they were putting procedures in place to operate at Level 2.

 "We are planning on reopening tomorrow (today)," she said.

"We developed a set of policy and procedure when we moved into level 2 originally – but we have never used them as we didn't need to. The main points are: Stay away if unwell; physical distance; keep a log of who you are in contact with; and wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands

"Yes we have strategies in place – these main points are being worked through for every part of the operation.

"We have a plan in place should Level 2 last longer than Friday – we will continue with the procedures we are putting in place and adjust as we get more information from the government."

So it looks like the ski season will soldier on,

And what about the powers of B?"

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said it's important to follow the government's guidelines and stay safe.

"The news of renewed community transmission is sobering for everyone in New Zealand," Boult said.

"My thoughts are particularly with people in Auckland and those in our community who will be again impacted by this, particularly those facing lockdown in rest homes. However, if we all follow the government's Alert Level guidelines, we stand a good chance of stamping the virus out before it spreads widely. We've done it before, and we can do it again."

Oh, yes, we can!

And the businessman on the street?

QLDC councillor and café owner Chris Hadfield said he had spent the day reverting his café back to Level 2 protocol- re-establishing the table confirmation, putting out a "wait to be seated" sign, implementing a contact sheet and "getting on with it."

It is what it is, he said. "There is nothing much else we can do."

And he is right.

View edition 987 of the Wānaka Sun here.


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