Councils determine new restrictions

Councils have been reviewing their Covid-19 restrictions following the switch to the Red traffic light setting at the weekend.

Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesman Campbell Weal said council sites remained open under the Red light setting, although with maximum occupancy levels.

The only exception was its Shotover St office, in Queenstown, which was now closed to the public.

The only change at its public facilities was at Alpine Health and Fitness at the Queenstown Events Centre, where only limited numbers would be allowed in cycle and group fitness studios.

A maximum capacity of 70 people in the Alpine Health and Fitness gym would be closely monitored, he said.

From Tuesday, all visitors to Clutha District Council offices, swimming pools and libraries would need to provide a vaccine pass.

Visitors to the council’s solid waste facilities would still not need a vaccine pass.

Chief executive Steve Hill said Omicron had changed everything and he hoped residents would understand staff were doing their best and should not be the subject of abuse.

Council facilities would continue to be open and operational.

However, there could be some capacity limits based on venue size and the need to enable people to remain at a safe distance from each other, he said.

Central Otago District Council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs said the change would mainly affect capacity limits at pools, libraries and events held at council venues.

Otherwise, it was similar to Orange.

The council had been operating with no more than 50% of its staff in the office at one time since the last lockdown, and would continue to do that, Ms Jacobs said.

Waitaki District Council spokeswoman Lisa Scott said most council services and facilities could be accessed without a vaccine pass, but mask-wearing, scanning or signing in and social distancing of 1m would apply.

Vaccine passes were required only at the Oamaru Opera House.

However, service levels were subject to change and updates would be posted on the council’s website, she said.

The Southland District Council has closed all its regional offices and libraries while the region was under the Red light setting.

Chief executive Cameron McIntosh said the measure was implemented because most of its libraries and area offices were staffed by only a few people.

A click and collect service would be in place, as well as contactless home delivery for people who required assistance, he said.

"Instead of wandering through the library, you just have to ring or go online to order them."

Mr McIntosh said staff from local offices and libraries would be available to residents by phone for information.

All other council facilities, including toilets, playgrounds, parks, reserves and cemetery, were open and would continue to be cleaned and maintained.

The council’s halls were still open and available for hire but patrons must take the responsibility of managing the government requirements and capacity under the traffic light system — 25 people if no vaccine pass was required and 100 people if vaccine passes were required.

In Invercargill, council facilities would remain open but at reduced capacity in some places.

A council spokeswoman said the main change was the service at Splash Palace, where its Liquid Cafe was implementing table service, meaning all food and drinks would be brought to tables by staff.

Vaccination passes would still be required to access the Invercargill city libraries and archives, Splash Palace, He Waka Tuia, the council chambers, Rugby Park and parts of the Civic Theatre.

People attending the civic administration building ground floor customer service area, Bluff service centre and library, Bluff municipal chambers and animal care facility would not require vaccination passes.

A Gore District Council spokeswoman said at this stage the council would continue to not require a vaccination pass at the pool, library or any other facility.

People would still need to wear a mask and observe social distancing, and the council might have to restrict numbers, the spokeswoman said.

All Timaru District Council facilities remain open, but with additional capacity limits based on 1m distancing, to a maximum of 100.

Masks were required in all public areas, and vaccine passes were required to enter any indoor council facilities, including the library, art gallery, museum and CBay aquatic centre.



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