Council Prepares To Move To COVID-19 Alert L2 Safely
Today the Government announced what Alert Level 2 will look like providing greater certainty for our local people, businesses and our Council about what will be required of us. The framework is based on returning to a “safer normal”, not business as usual just yet.
Mayor K Gurunathan says the Council has been preparing for Alert L2 for some time but now has more clarity about what additional measures will need to be in place to enable its customer facing activities and facilities to reopen and operate safely.
“The guidance shared today will allow the Council to elevate its planning in preparation for when New Zealand transitions to Alert L2. We don’t have clear visibility of when this will be at this stage so it is important that we continue to stick to our bubbles and follow the Alert Level 3 rules.
“A move to Alert L2 will allow more businesses, workplaces and public facilities to open with social distance to be maintained. However, there will be limits on the numbers that can gather indoors and outdoors, as well as cleaning and contact tracing requirements that all need to be worked through. This will have to be managed carefully to ensure we do not lose sight of any of the gains we have made.
While the Prime Minister has indicated that we will be given 48 hours’ notice before we move to Alert Level 2, it will not be possible for some of our community facilities to reopen in this timeframe as we need to ensure we take a cautious and well considered approach. For example, in the case of the Coastlands Aquatic Centre it takes more than four days to reheat the pool water to the required temperature and there are a range of measures that need to put in place to keep people using our facilities safe before we reopen our doors.”
The Mayor said the Council will continue to apply guidance from central government including the Covid-19 Local Government Response Unit and is proactively engaging with colleagues across the region to ensure a consistent approach is applied wherever possible.
“This a dynamic situation and we will update our community on what the change in alert level will mean for Council services and facilities once we have certainty over when the alert level is changing.
“I’d like to thank everyone for the enormous effort they’ve put in to date to get us this far. We’ve all made some huge sacrifices and I am very aware of the strain this is placing on many people and businesses in our community.
“A range of support is available for those that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19, this includes a rates payment deferral through an agreed payment plan for property and water rates falling due between 1 March and 30 June 2020, and tools and resources to help businesses get back on their feet. I urge anyone that is need of support to contact the Council on 0800 486 486,” the Mayor said.
For more information about the Council’s support package for Kapiti locals visit www.kapiticoast.govt.nz.
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For the latest update on what COVID-19 alert level 2 will look like visit https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/alert-level-2/#workplaces-and-businesses