Hamilton City Council’s facilities and services are again operating under the Government guidelines for COVID-19 Alert Level 2 after changes to Alert Levels were announced by Government.
Hamilton, and all New Zealand except Auckland, is under Alert Level 2 from 6am tomorrow, (Sunday 28 February). Auckland is under Alert Level 3. The alert levels will initially remain in place for seven days.
All Council facilities remain open and all services will continue operating under Alert Level 2.
Some events have been cancelled, including this weekend’s Hamilton Arts Festival events at Hamilton Gardens, and the city’s Love Your Bike Day.
Chief Executive Richard Briggs says the city responded calmly, efficiently and effectively to the last change in alert levels and adds its important people continue to play their part.
“Our priority is to keep everyone in our community safe; our staff, our residents and those who are visiting our area. We remind people to follow Ministry of Health guidelines and advice. Stay home if unwell, get tested, and self-isolate until the result is known. Wash your hands regularly, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and keep track of where you’ve been.”
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says she understands this can be a time of uncertainty for many but says she knows our community will do the right thing.
“We know the rules so let’s follow them for the sake of all New Zealanders. We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again.”
General guidelines at Council facilities under Alert Level 2
Two-metre physical distancing is expected at all Council facilities, with signs and floor markings installed to help maintain this. Visitors are required to check in to facilities, by scanning a QR code using the Government’s NZ COVID Tracer App or by providing staff with their name and contact details. Surfaces at Council facilities will be frequently cleaned, and hand sanitiser is available for visitors to use. People who are feeling sick or unwell must stay home.
Visit the Council website and Facebook page for up-to-date information on what Alert Level 2 means for the Council. Please use these channels for information before contacting the Council due to higher than usual call rates. Customers are also being asked to use online transactions where possible rather than in person at a Council building.
Parks and playgrounds
Playgrounds and public toilets in parks stay open under Alert Level 2. Parents and caregivers will need to be mindful their children are physical distancing at our busy playgrounds. Dogs can still be allowed off lead in off-leash exercise areas. Organised sport will continue at city sportsgrounds unless otherwise advised by clubs and codes. Contact tracing and a limit of 100 for gatherings will apply.
Waterworld and Gallagher Aquatic Centre
Our city aquatic facilities have introduced restrictions to ensure swimmers and spectators can stay safely apart. Pools are available for lane and leisure swimming with limits on maximum numbers. Facilities where physical distancing will be a problem, such as toddler pools, spa, sauna and steam rooms, and the splash pad, hydroslides and speed slide at Waterworld, are all closed. The playground will remain open.
Group fitness classes and the Waterworld gym will operate with limited numbers.
Hamilton City Libraries
Physical distancing applies at all branches and numbers are restricted in some smaller facilities. This may mean a short wait outside some branch libraries until other customers exit. Changes to some public programmes may be necessary in smaller branches. Updates will be provided on the Hamilton City Libraries website and Facebook page.
Hamilton Arts Festival events for the weekend have been cancelled. Opening hours for the enclosed gardens have changed to 10am to 4pm daily. This is due to physical distancing requirements and ensures staff can work along paths and in the enclosed gardens without needing to step aside for customers. Visitors are required to sign in to the Information Centre, enclosed gardens and café using a QR code. The café will space out tables and reintroduce other measures, such as a single server per table, required by the Government.
Visitor numbers are restricted with visitors required to sign in using a QR code or by providing their name and contact details if they do not have a smartphone. Keeper talks and animal encounters are suspended.
Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, ArtsPost Galleries and Shop, i-SITE
Overall entry numbers to Waikato Museum are limited to 100 to make sure physical distancing is possible. Visitors will be required to sign in. Visitor numbers are restricted to 30 people for ArtsPost/i-SITE.
H3 (Claudelands Events Centre, FMG Stadium Waikato, Seddon Park)
Events with 100 people or fewer attendees can continue to take place under Alert Level 2. Measures such as contact tracing, intensive cleaning and room layouts that allow physical distancing are in place to make sure events can continue to take place safely. Attendees to events with fewer than 100 people will need to maintain physical distancing and good hygiene practises. We are currently liaising with our event organisers regarding future events and will update our website if cancellations/postponements are confirmed. Please keep in mind this is an evolving situation, so your patience is appreciated at this time.
Funeral services are limited to 100 people. Physical distancing will need to be maintained during services and funeral directors will collect details for contact tracing.
Rubbish and recycling
Our rubbish and recycling kerbside collection service will continue as normal during Alert Level 2. Both the Lincoln Street Resource Recovery Centre (transfer station) and Hamilton Organic Centres remain open, with social distancing processes in place to ensure safety of staff and the public.
The Claudelands Park non-fluoride tap remains open but the Taitua Arboretum tap continues to remain closed due to upgrades.
Council and committee meetings will be subject to physical distancing requirements, with Elected Members attending in-person and via Zoom. The meetings will be live streamed on the Council’s website for the public to watch and uploaded to our YouTube channel.