Covid lockdown – Short and sharp

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The view down West Street (SH1) on Wednesday.

Walkers are out and about, teddy bears are back in windows, supermarkets and petrol stations are open as the country is again in lockdown due to covid.

It’s a short and sharp lockdown, but necessary with the covid Delta variant, which is rampant around the world, confirmed in the Auckland community.

Ashburton District mayor Neil Brown said ‘‘Level 4. We’ve been here before. Bugger, but let’s get on with it.”

‘‘Schools are closed, businesses won’t be open, restaurants and cafes will also be closed. However, supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations and dairies will still be open, but with this Delta variant, we take no chances.
‘‘Wear your masks… use the covid tracer app wherever you go essential shopping. Keep  your distances, wash your hands, get your bubbles sorted.’’

Mr Brown said more information would become known over the coming days but for now, lockdown was a great time for people to book their vaccines either online at  covid19.govt.nz or via the 0800 number.

He said it was a good time for government to put a plan in place, because it was not only a matter of if, but when New Zealand got the variant in the community.

The government has announced financial support will be available for businesses
and workers to protect jobs and keep firms’ operating. They include wage subsidy schemes
and a resurgence support payment.

Mr Brown said the Delta variant had a transmission process that could pass between people just walking by each other.

‘‘We don’t want to be like Australia. Going hard and fast has worked for us before, let’s do this,’’ he said.

During the lockdown council premises, including playgrounds and public toilets not on main routes, will be closed but staff will be available to take call and emails.

Refuse and recycling rubbish collections (red and yellow bins) would continue as  per usual days, however there would be no glass collection  until further notice.

■ Remember… Wear masks when going outside your property.
■Keep 2m apart from other people at all times while in public. This includes when undertaking physical exercise in your neighbourhood, visiting the supermarket or pharmacy, urgent medical care or getting a test.
■ If you feel unwell you must immediately self-isolate from others in your bubble and get a  test.
■ Check out the official Covid-19 website at covid19.govt.nz for more information

By Toni Williams