The Government has announced that Auckland will be moving back to Alert Level 3 at 12:00pm on 12 August for three days, after which it will review its decision and next steps.
While at Alert Level 3, travel is allowed for the following essential personal movement in your area:
- Accessing local services and businesses
- Going to work and school. However, you should work and learn from home where possible
- Low-risk recreation in local area
- Extended bubble arrangements
- Travelling to permitted gatherings
For more information of where and when you are permitted to travel go to: www.covid19.govt.nz
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff reminds everyone to stay calm and look out for each other.
“This is not the situation we wanted to be in, but it is one which, on international experience, we expected. We have been planning for it and we’re ready for it,” he says.
“The lesson from overseas is that to be effective we need to go hard and go early, which is how New Zealand has succeeded so far.
“What’s most important now is that Aucklanders remain calm and follow all the Ministry of Health guidelines. Team Auckland has already beaten COVID-19 once by working together, and we will beat it again by working together.
“Maintain physical distancing, wear a mask when in public and follow good hygiene practices and we will get through this together.”
The government has advised that you must maintain physical distancing of 2 metres outside your home, including on public transport.
Public transport will continue to operate with strict health and safety requirements in place. Per government advice, you should maintain physical distancing and wear a mask.
Fares will continue to be charged over this 3-day Alert Level 3 period. Cash will not be accepted on public transport. Customers must tag on/off with their AT HOP card and we strongly recommend that you register your AT HOP card to help with contact tracing should it be required. This will also allow us to monitor passenger numbers and make fast adjustments to services if required due to changes in demand.
Busses, trains and ferries will continue to operate to existing timetables until further notice so customers can continue to rely on the AT Mobile App and journey planner to plan their journey. This will also help enable essential workers and passengers on essential journeys to exercise physical distancing. Because of the very short notice and potentially short duration of this regional lockdown, it may not be practical for physical distancing stickers to be installed across the public transport network immediately. Aucklanders are thus asked to be mindful of their personal surroundings and of the importance to maintain two metre physical distancing.
School busses will also still operate as normal on Wednesday to ensure that children are able to get to school. We will work with schools and based on their input may make changes to school bus services for Thursday and Friday if warranted. Per Government guidelines, the 2-metre physical distancing requirement does not apply to school buses, as these are considered to be a part of a school’s controlled environment.
Those travelling on public transport should avoid peak times unless it is necessary, such as going to work or school. This is to further ensure that the required two metres of physical distancing between staff and customers can be maintained.
AT has taken numerous measures to help keep customers safe on our network and maintain effective and safe public transport services for our customers, these include:
- Our AT Mobile app indicates the available capacity that is on a bus or train service at any given time, so customers will know if two-metre distancing will be achievable before they board. Bus drivers will move to only dropping customers off once a vehicle is at capacity.
- While wearing of masks is not mandatory on public transport, as per the Ministry of Health’s guidance we recommend that customers use them if possible as an added precaution against the spread of COVID-19.
- We’re ensuring that all public transport is being thoroughly cleaned regularly. See a video of some of our cleaning here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpAHT7gpQRI
- Buses and trains are being spot checked, with touch surfaces being regularly cleaned.
- We ask that passengers use the rear door to get on and off the bus. This is to ensure everyone is kept as safe as possible by minimising physical contact between customers and the bus drivers.
- Customers who use a wheel chair or other mobility device or require driver assistance can still use the front door of buses. This also applies to vision impaired customers – we ask drivers to assist them through the front door.
- We will be actively monitoring our timetables while at Alert Level 3 and will make changes to timetables as needed. For timetable information download the AT Mobile app or go to: www.at.govt.nz
- Our cleaners and other essential staff are using PPE and will maintain clear physical distancing rules — such as using the ‘bubble’ rule with our teams, strict hand-washing prior to and after completing tasks — and other measures as they go about their work on our vehicles, stations and facilities to minimise the risk of COVID-19 as much as possible.
Be mindful that the Government’s advice continues to be that the best defence against COVID-19 is to limit our interactions with others.
Under Alert Level 3, Aucklanders must continue to stay within their household bubbles whenever they are not at work, at school, going to the supermarket, for medical reasons, or exercising.
Total Mobility fares
The Total Mobility scheme will continue to operate over the 3-day Alert Level 3 period, but fares will remain the same. The Total Mobility scheme supports people who cannot use public transport to travel, all or some of the time. More information on Total Mobility can be found at https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/accessible-travel/total-mobility-scheme/
Customer service centres
Customer service centres will remain open with two metre physical distancing rules applying to both customers and staff. However, staff will not be accepting cash under Alert Level 3.
During this time, we recommend customers use self-service options such as ordering an AT HOP card online. Journey planning can also be done via the AT website or AT Mobile app. Our call centres remain open and customers can speak to us between 6am and 9pm by calling 09 366 4467.
We will revisit the opening hours and locations on Friday once the Government provides further direction and guidance on the Alert Level 3 status.
Parking and outdoor activities
Parking in AT buildings and on-street will continue as will the enforcement of parking restrictions, bus lanes and other special vehicle lanes.
Parking and transport compliance staff will also be assisting authorities by monitoring physical distancing behaviour across our network and assisting essential healthcare and community testing facilities with any transport related issues.
Leisure boating and activities on the water such as jet skiing are not allowed under Alert Level 3.
If you are walking or cycling, make sure you continue to maintain a 2-metre distance from other people and their ‘bubbles’.
Under Alert Level 3, we will be able to continue planned renewal works such as road surfacing, repair and footpath works.
Our essential maintenance activities such as fixing potholes will also continue.
AT construction sites will continue to operate but under strict guidelines. Each site has developed a Health and Safety Plan based on Ministry of Health Guidance and industry best practice:
- At Alert Level 3, these measures include physical distancing, construction bubbles, compulsory PPE, hygiene practices on site entry and exit and separating teams into zones on our larger sites
- Inductions for new project staff and compulsory COVID 19 education and training will be part of ongoing site protocols while in Alert Level 3, plus any new restarted work will require contractors to submit COVID 19 Health and Safety plans and protocols to demonstrate a safe working environment.
Office-based staff will largely work from home while we are at Alert Level 3, although some people will still be moving around the network for essential work. Face-to-face meetings, whether at our offices or at other locations, will not be held and wherever possible we will use online meeting options. Public meetings or workshops that were schedule during this 3-day Alert Level 3 period will be postponed if they cannot be moved to a suitable online alternative.
We know this is once again a challenging time for us all. We ask that people be understanding and patient of everyone else who is in the same situation.
And remember, please travel only if necessary.
The best place to find the latest information about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is on the Government’s special COVID-19 website: https://covid19.govt.nz/
Auckland Transport’s COVID-19 page is at: https://at.govt.nz/COVID-19
For any general queries call us at 09 355 3553 – Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.