Self-isolation takes on extra meaning

Isolated in more than one way, about 100 people are seeing out the Level 4 lockdown period in Milford Sound.

Milford Sound Tourism general manager Tim Holland said because of how quickly everything happened, not everyone was able to leave and find somewhere to stay for the lockdown period.

"Everything happened so quickly. We were running the odd tour and there were boats still operating — we were open to the public until the Tuesday."

It was the second state of emergency the region had faced in a very short time and he believed the first could have "insulated" Milford from the effects of Covid-19.

"People were sort of carefully managed, and that potentially insulated us a little bit — we’ve been very lucky to have avoided the sort of thing that has happened in Queenstown."

However, the isolation that possibly aided them could also prove to be challenging.

"Self-isolating in an isolated place, it is a double dip for us. But folks here are pretty used to that."

He said each company had its own procedures but ensuring supplies were still sent their way by road was a combined effort.

"As an essential service, we run the rubbish and recycling and the wastewater treatment plant. There is another company here that does the electricity, gas and water."

They were operating on skeleton staff — about seven in total — and had managed to get summer staff on their way before lockdown began, he said.

Mr Holland said while he agreed locking down was the right decision, he wanted to know what would happen afterwards.

"How are we going to manage coming out of this lockdown? Because at the moment there are so many unknowns."

Tailored advice was available to businesses in the region by Great South and Destination Fiordland, which provided options for support.

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