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COVID-19: Nelson City Council Services At Alert Level 2

On Thursday, 14th May, New Zealand will move to COVID-Alert Level 2 after more than two weeks spent at Level 3. This will mean a significant relaxation of the rules around movement, recreation, work and education, whilst retaining the importance of staying safe.

During Alert Levels 4 and 3, Nelson City Council has been maintaining essential services, including refuse/recycling, public transport, roading, water, wastewater, stormwater and its cemetery/crematorium. Many Council services will stay the same at Level Two but there will be some key changes, with more facilities, parks and services now allowed to open.

What’s changing:

  • The Pascoe Street transfer station will now be fully open, with COVID-19 risk management practices in place. Payments will continue to be contactless and cash will not be accepted. Contact tracing will be required, including the recording of vehicle license plates. The reuse shop will be open for customers to drop off items, and with physical distancing and sanitisation measures, will also be open for shopping.
  • Processing of recycling will return to normal as the regional sorting facility is able to reopen safely at Alert Level 2. Collections of refuse and recycling will continue as they have throughout the shutdown.
  • Public transport will return to the normal timetable barring the weekend late late bus, which will not run until further notice. At this stage, services remain free of charge. Physical distancing will be in place which will limit bus capacity so users are encouraged to travel off peak where possible or allow plenty of time for their journey. Contact tracing will be available via a website or by phoning with details displayed inside the bus. Customers without a mobile phone can call the number after they have completed their journey. Reduced fares on Total Mobility services will continue to be available until 30th June 2020, irrespective of New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Level, after which time normal fare payment processes will resume.
  • Council’s Customer Service Centre will reopen from Friday 15th May with physical distancing and sanitisation stations. Visitors must register for contact tracing, and there will be a maximum of five customers allowed in the centre at any one time. Cashless payment is preferred.
  • Elma Turner and Stoke libraries will reopen from Monday 18th May with physical distancing and contact tracing. Weekday opening hours have been amended to 10:00-16:30 with weekend hours as normal. Numbers will be limited and all users must sign in. Customers are still encouraged to access our online services e.g. ebooks, audiobooks, movies and device help without visiting the physical library building. A click and collect option is also being introduced to avoid the need for customers to have to enter the building. Nightingale library remains closed. Further information on how the libraries will be operating can be found here http://www.nelsonpubliclibraries.co.nz/covid-19
  • In line with Government advice encouraging alternative ways of working where possible, some Council staff will continue to work effectively from home under Alert Level 2, and some staff will return to Council workplaces. Physical distancing measures, as well as additional cleaning and hygiene practices, will be implemented to ensure a safe working environment.
  • All parks and playgrounds will reopen, including exercise equipment, skate parks and public sports facilities. It’s important to make sure you wash your hands or use hand-sanitiser before and after use. People should not use equipment if they have cold or flu symptoms.
  • Sports fields can reopen and limited organised sports may restart, as permitted by the Government’s COVID-19 guidelines for recreational activities.
  • Council-owned facilities will reopen, with restricted numbers and protocols around physical distancing.
  • Community halls and club rooms are permitted to reopen provided they can meet the Government’s instructions and protocols for Alert Level 2.
  • Freedom camping sites to reopen. Contact tracing will be in place.
  • Campgrounds may reopen, with strict and more regular cleaning protocols.
  • Community BBQs are available for use by social groups of less than 10 in line with current Government Alert Level 2 guidelines.
  • Swimming pools to reopen, with restrictions and partial opening of certain facilities, as well as contact tracing on entry.
  • Founders Heritage Park will reopen, along with the café. Book donations will be accepted at Level 2. Isel House is closed for the winter and will reopen in October. Broadgreen House remains closed at this stage.
  • Commercial and residential water meter reading will restart, with physical distancing observed.
  • Physical council meetings, workshops and hearings will resume where gathering restrictions and physical distancing measures can be met. If this is not possible, these tasks will continue to be done remotely.
  • Community and school programmes will restart in accordance with educational guidelines.

What’s staying the same:

  • All programmed roading maintenance will continue, with automation of crossing phases at some locations.
  • All capital construction projects will resume, with workers following the Government’s Alert Level 2 risk management practices.
  • Most public toilet facilities remain open, with increased cleaning, as they have throughout the shutdown.
  • Businesses at the Marina remain open as does the Marina Hardstand, but the jetties and boat ramps are now open.
  • Building inspections, environmental monitoring and public contact roles such as dog control, noise control will continue to be carried out according to the Alert Level 2 requirements.
  • The cemetery and crematorium remains open. Funerals and tangi may now be held with a maximum of 10 people in attendance.
  • Drinking fountains will remain closed, until confirmation is received from public health that they are safe to reopen.
  • Many trails in the Nelson and Tasman region remain open to mountain biking.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese expressed her gratitude to Nelson for observing the restrictions during Levels 3 and 4, which she says have been tough for so many.

“I know many of you have already sacrificed and endured so much to get to this point as we have all worked together to eliminate this virus. Return to business as usual will take time and will still create some challenges at Level 2 but it does offer everyone a real opportunity to support the local businesses and community organisations we love."

Government directives at Alert Level 2 are more relaxed than Level 3, but guidance on physical distancing, hand washing and staying safe remain in place. For the most up to date information about life at Level Two, visit covid19.govt.nz.

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