Slow return to business in Level 3

Downtown Ashburton at Alert Level 3.

Retail stores, cafes and takeaway operators able to operate at Alert Level 3 have thrown open their doors to the public; with restrictions.

Ashburton was a busy hive this week as essential workers around the district were joined by the throng of businesses able to operate contactless services under Level 3.

Builders were back on sites, roading contractors returned and schools had limited openings for students and pupils, aged under 14, of essential workers without child care available at home.

Ashburton District mayor Neil Brown said the district was slowly moving towards returning to normal socialising.

‘‘Let’s not go backwards – keep wearing your masks, keep your social distancing, and stay home as much as possible,’’ he said.

‘‘For those returning to the workforce, stay safe and please don’t hesitate to get tested if you are not feeling well (obviously don’t go to work – but let your employer know).’’

‘‘All going well this time next week we will be looking at Level 2!

‘‘Remember to support local, and be kind if there are delays in getting your deliveries or getting your goods at pick up, everybody is operating in difficult circumstances. We’ve got this Ashburton!’’

Residents in the district experiencing difficulty getting their shopping or medical prescriptions can contact Ashburton District Council who are offering assistance with pick up and delivery of groceries and prescriptions. They can be contacted by phone on 307 7700.

Volunteer Mid/South Canterbury are also offering assistance with pick up and delivery of groceries and prescriptions. Contact Dellwyn Moylan by email at

St John Ashburton health shuttle is able to offer rides to and from grocery and prescription runs. They can be contacted by phone on 307 4221 and Work and Income are open to assist with queries and needs including elderly care and welfare. They can be contacted on 0800559009.

Anyone experiencing difficulty and wanting to speak to a counsellor can phone or text 1737 any time day or night. The Rural Support Trust is also available on 0800 787 254.