The Prime Minister’s announcement of when New Zealand will move to Alert Level 3 in our fight against COVID-19 is a positive step, but no excuse to drop our guard, says Taranaki Civil Defence Emergency Management Alternate Controller Sue Kelly.
“The announcement that we will shift to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on Monday 27 April can be taken as a sign that our actions are having a positive impact on the spread of this virus. We can all take pride in our response, even though it has been difficult for many.”
“But two things remain critically important if we are not to undo the progress we have all worked so hard to achieve over the last four weeks,” Sue says.
“We must stick to the restrictions of Level 4 while we are still at Level 4 – that’s right up until 11.59pm on Monday 27 April. The decision to move Alert Levels has been made based on a range of factors spanning science, public health, economic and social. We can’t jump the gun – to do so would put us and others at risk.”
“When we move to Level 3, we must stick to the guidelines for Level 3, just as we are sticking to those of Level 4. It’s important to stress that Level 3 is a step towards returning to normal, but it’s certainly not a return to business as usual.”
“For many of us, it may not seem much different to Level 4, but it does enable us to expand our bubbles very slightly to ensure we can support family members, and it does permit a few additional businesses and services to operate, while maintaining strict contact-less procedures.”
“These are both important steps to support the social and economic health of our community but cannot come at the expense of our public health,” Sue says.
While we’re still at Alert Level 4, here’s what we need to remember:
- Stay at home as much as you can.
- If you do venture out, stay in your neighbourhood and stay in your bubble.
- Keep a 2-metre distance from anyone who is not part of your bubble.
- Only drive to get essential supplies, such as groceries or visiting the pharmacy.
- Help our emergency services by only doing safe activities.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap.
The most up-to-date information on COVID-19 is on www.covid19.govt.nz(external link).