Use of parks and reserves in Alert Level 3



1 May 2020

While it is exciting that we’ve been able to make the move to Alert Level 3, remaining vigilant about following the COVID-19 Alert Level 3 rules is still essential.

Alert Level 3 means we can add a few little luxuries back into our lives and it allows for more economic activity, but it does not allow for more social activity. 

Rotorua Lakes Council’s Operations Group Manager, Jocelyn Mikaere, explains that Council is working to follow the Alert Level 3 restrictions, which means that although exercise and recreation is an important part of maintaining health and wellbeing, preventative measures need to remain in place in Council managed parks and reserves to stop the transmission of COVID-19.

“In Alert Level 3, Council will keep some car parks closed to discourage use of recreational areas where transmission is more likely to occur, such as on playgrounds, and at popular picnic spots.

“It has been extremely disappointing to see that some people are choosing to remove ‘closed’ tape from playgrounds to play on them, break down barriers to car parks that need to remain closed, use communal picnic tables and seats, and congregate in large groups,” she says.

In response to this behaviour, Rotorua Lakes Council’s Civil Defence and Emergency Controller, Bruce Horne says, “This blatant disregard for the rules in place to ensure people’s safety is the type of behaviour that could un-do the excellent work that has been done so far. Many people have made significant sacrifices to achieve the results to date and it is important that we maintain our discipline for a few more weeks to lock in these gains.

“Beating COVID-19 ultimately comes down to limiting the opportunity for community transmission which is why continued social distancing and following the two metre rule is the most important thing people can do.”

Council will continue to monitor our parks and reserves, keep up communication with Police and will adjust safety measures where necessary.

Tips for safe recreation in Alert Level 3

  • Wash your hands before and after all activities.
  • Stick to activities that are safe and well within your ability, close to home, and do not involve interaction with people outside of your bubble.
  • Stick to your local area for recreation and exercise. You should drive as short a distance as possible.
  • If you are driving a short distance for recreational activities, try to park your vehicle away from others to ensure you can keep a 2m distance from people not in your bubble. Park considerately, not on foot paths or in gardens.
  • Don’t use communal picnic tables and benches. If you want to have a quick picnic outdoors, take a picnic rug to sit on.
  • Don’t use public toilets or playgrounds, and don’t touch communal equipment and structures like gates.
  • Keep dogs on leads to avoid contact with other dogs and people not in your bubble.
Page reviewed: 01 May 2020 3:30pm