Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023


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Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Outdoor gatherings back on, but confusion remains as rules changed overnight

2 min read

Aucklanders are now being told that gatherings of up to 10 people outside can include anyone from any household, not just two.

Under the new alert level 3, a maximum of two households can come together for a picnic or gathering outdoors, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday.

The gathering can not be indoors at any time and a person from a different household can not walk through the other household’s property or use their bathroom and toilet.

However, the Herald understands the rules have changed overnight. People wanting to play a round of golf or an organised exercise class are now allowed to join no matter how many households are represented, not just two.

The maximum number of players or participants, however, remains at 10.

Conflicting advice was also initially given about playgrounds opening.

The Government’s Unite Against Covid-19 website earlier showed playgrounds were still off-limits under the new level 3.

The website, however, appears to have been updated – now showing advice that “outdoor playgrounds can open”.

Some Auckland playgrounds remained closed this morning, however, and still had “danger” tape around the playground equipment.

Auckland Council has already started cleaning up local parks and opening more public toilets in the region, as more people head outdoors.

And the council says playgrounds are most definitely open.

“Playgrounds, skate parks and basketball courts will reopen, but we ask that people exercise common sense when out and about.

“The Government guidance is clear on this point – you should only mingle with one other household. If you can’t practice physical distancing around our playgrounds and other facilities, please don’t use them.”

Just before midnight, Auckland moved into the first phase of a three-part road map set out for the city, by the Government, to ease lockdown restrictions.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff welcomed the change, but encouraged people in the city to enjoy the eased restrictions safely.

“Please remember that Covid-19 is still in the community and keep your activities within the new rules.”

Anyone keen to do an outdoor exercise class can organise one. But the maximum number of people remains at 10 too.

“This includes the instructor taking the class,” the website reads.

“People do not have to be in the same household to participate, but everyone should stay two metres apart.”

People out and about but not exercising are still being encouraged to wear a face mask and those out training or exercising are reminded that they will not be able to use any public indoor changing facilities.

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