COVID-19 Update: Transport In Auckland Under Alert Level 1
The Government has announced that New Zealand is moving to Alert Level 1 at midnight tonight, 22 February. This means Auckland Transport (AT) services are largely returning to normal operations.
The Government advises the general rule for Alert Level 1 is that COVID-19 is contained in New Zealand but still uncontrolled overseas. This means that it’s still important for Aucklanders to be prepared and to be vigilant, as isolated local transmission could still be occurring within the country or we all need to be ready in case COVID-19 comes back.
To be ready at Alert Level 1, the Government says to:
- Practise good hygiene;
- Stay home if you’re sick;
- Get tested if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms;
- Keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen.
As per Government requirements, face coverings legally must be worn:
- on all public transport in New Zealand, including on long-distance bus and train journeys and most ferries;
- on domestic flights throughout New Zealand;
- by taxi and ride-share drivers (while it’s not compulsory for passengers to wear them, the Government strongly encourages them to).
Please continue to scan QR codes on public transport with the NZ COVID Tracer app.
In addition to scanning the Ministry of Health’s QR code, AT continues to recommend that customers also register their AT HOP card to help with contact tracing and make sure their details are up to date. This will also allow us to monitor passenger numbers and make fast adjustments to services if required due to changes in demand. We will be working to make those changes as quickly as possible and again advise customers to plan their journey.
The Government is also asking everyone to continue with public health measures that were encouraged under all Alert Levels. Keep up good handwashing practices, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and drying thoroughly. Cough and sneeze into your elbow. Keep surfaces clean.
Face coverings are still mandatory on public transport, but there are no physical distancing requirements under Alert Level 1. Please continue to scan the QR codes as well.
Face masks are now on sale in vending machines at public transport facilities across Auckland. The masks are in 42 machines at bus and rail stations and ferry wharves. This means passengers who may have lost or forgotten their face covering can get one quickly and easily to avoid missing their journey.
AT is continuing to ensure that all public transport is being cleaned throughout its daily service. Buses, trains and ferries are being spot checked, with surfaces being sanitised, and we have enhanced our cleaning regime to include antimicrobial protection fogging (spraying) of facilities for our fleet. See a video of some of our cleaning here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpAHT7gpQRI
For now, we will continue to only accept AT HOP card payments as this will help us to support contact tracing requirements should they become necessary. If customers need assistance in obtaining or loading an AT HOP card, they can visit a customer service centre or call 09 355 3553.
AT Mobile and HOP cards
We remind customers about our to improved AT Mobile app to help Aucklanders plan their trips and get around the city efficiently.
Our live occupancy feature, which displays how many people are on a bus or train service at any given time so customers will know how busy it will be before they board, also appears under the journey planner area of the app. We also added last year the ability to check the status of a train line in the app so customers can now know the information before they even head out the door. AT Mobile can be downloaded at: https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/more-services/mobile-services/
Again, we strongly recommend that customers register their AT HOP card to help with contact tracing. If you’ve already registered your AT HOP card, we also ask that you make sure your contact details are up to date. Those who do not already have an AT HOP card can find a retailer at: https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/at-hop-card/at-hop-retailers/
All customer services centres at public transport hubs are open and parking enforcement continues to be operating normally.
AT projects will follow Alert Level 1 requirements again, which means the need for physical distancing has been removed and the focus will be on hygiene, contact tracing and ensuring workers stay at home if sick.
The public will see little change under Alert Level 1 other than some construction areas potentially expanding to use areas previously set aside for physical distancing.
Public consultation is returning to normal operations as the limits on gatherings and physical distancing requirements have been lifted.
We know these changes in Alert Levels in the last week have been unusual and stressful times once again for everyone. We want to say thank you to all front-line workers who have kept the city moving during these changes, as well as Aucklanders for their understanding and patience. We ask that everyone continues to be kind to each other as the city, and the country, returns to this new normal.
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 other queries, the Auckland Transport call centre is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 09 355 3553.