Nelson Council's services under COVID Alert Level 2

12/08/2020 11:29am

New Zealand’s Alert Levels changed on Wednesday, 12 August.

For Nelson, this means we are at Alert Level 2.This is because of the increased risk of community transmission. At Alert Level 2, Government advice is that masks should be worn in situations where physical distancing is not possible, like on public transport or in shops. We encourage everyone to embrace this and to download and use the NZ COVID tracer app. 

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said the sudden return to restrictions was a shock, but urged Nelsonians to come together again, and look out for one another.

“'We’ve got this’ is our recovery motto, but it also applies now. We know we can work together in this region and we will get through this. We need to stay calm, follow Ministry of Health advice and remember how important it is to be kind.” 

During all Alert Levels, Nelson City Council has been maintaining essential services, including refuse/recycling, public transport, roading, water, wastewater, stormwater and its cemetery/crematorium. Most Council services will stay the same at Level 2 but there will be some key changes to be aware of:

What’s changing:

  • Council’s Customer Service Centre will reintroduce physical distancing. Visitors must register for contact tracing, and there will be a maximum of eight customers allowed in the centre at any one time. Cashless payment is preferred.
  • The Pascoe Street transfer station remains open but all payments must now be contactless, cash will not be accepted. Contact tracing will be required, including the recording of vehicle license plates. The reuse shop will be open for customers to drop off items, and with physical distancing and sanitisation measures, will also be open for shopping.
  • Public transport now has physical distancing which may limit bus capacity. An overflow bus will be engaged as required. Users are encouraged to travel off-peak where possible or allow plenty of time for their journey.
  • The spacing on buses is one person per row. Bus operators will have signage in place to guide passengers as to where they should sit.
  • The timetable remains as normal at Level 2, but this will be reviewed if we go to Level 3.
  • Bus fares are still being charged. Getting a Bee Card and registering it will allow people to pay for travel in a contactless manner. Registered Bee Cards will also be used for contact tracing – so please remember to tag on and off.
  • Alternatively, contact tracing will be available via a website or by phoning, with details displayed inside the bus. Customers without a mobile phone can call the number after they have completed their journey. Children can be registered for NBus on Shape Nelson.
  • Additional cleaning will be carried out on the buses and bus drivers will be wearing masks. From Monday 31 August, face coverings will be mandatory on public transport, ferries, planes, Ubers and taxis throughout New Zealand, before then, wearing a mask is encouraged to protect other passengers.
  • Elma Turner and Stoke libraries will remain open but numbers will be limited and all users must sign in. Customers are still encouraged to access our online services e.g. ebooks, audiobooks, movies and device help without visiting the physical library building. Nightingale Library will close due to the small size of the building making physical distancing difficult. All classes and events at the libraries will stop, this includes Small Time and Story Time sessions.
  • Founders Heritage Park remains open, along with the café. Book donations will be accepted at Level 2. Isel House is closed for the winter and will reopen in October. Broadgreen House is closed.
  • Riverside Swimming pool will remain open, with restrictions and partial opening of certain facilities, as well as contact tracing on entry.
  • The cemetery and crematorium remain open. However, for funerals and tangi the maximum of 100 people will now apply.
  • Drinking fountains will be closed until confirmation is received from public health that they are safe to reopen.
  • Physical council meetings, workshops and hearings will continue. However, the physical distancing requirements will mean that there will no longer be space available in the Council chamber for the public and media. All Council meetings will be livestreamed as usual and those wishing to speak at public meetings will be able to do so via Zoom. 
  • Physical distancing measures will mean more Council staff will be working from home in Alert Level 2. For those in Council workplaces, additional cleaning and hygiene practices will be implemented to ensure a safe working environment. 

What’s staying the same: 

  • Recycling will continue as normal.
  • All programmed roading maintenance will continue, with automation of crossing phases at some locations.
  • All capital construction projects will continue, with workers following the Government’s Alert Level 2 risk management practices.
  • Public toilet facilities remain open, with increased cleaning being introduced.
  • Businesses at the Marina remain open as does the Marina Hardstand. The jetties and boat ramps remain open.
  • Building inspections, environmental monitoring and public contact roles such as dog control, noise control will continue to be carried out according to the Alert Level 2 requirements.
  • All parks and playgrounds remain open, including exercise equipment, skate parks and public sports facilities. It’s important to make sure you wash your hands or use handsanitiser before and after use. People should not use equipment if they have cold or flu symptoms.
  • Sports fields remain open and limited organised sports can continue, as permitted by the Government’s COVID-19 guidelines for recreational activities.
  • Community halls and club rooms are permitted to stay open provided they can meet the Government’s instructions and protocols for Alert Level 2.
  • Freedom camping sites remain open. Contact tracing will be in place.
  • Campgrounds remain open, with strict and more regular cleaning protocols.
  • Trails in the Nelson and Tasman region remain open to mountain biking and walking/running.