7 Oct 2021

Check here for updates on how the move to Alert Level 2 will impact on our services and facilities.

Planning a visit to a pool?

If you're planning on visiting one of our pools while we're at Alert Level 2, we recommend you check out our new pool status page which has up-to-date information on pool wait times at each of our centres.

This will help you avoid extended waits.

Days of Ice festival postponed

The Days of Ice celebration has been postponed from 8-25 October to 24 February to 6 March 2022.

This is due to the current COVID-19 outbreak  which is creating too much uncertainty around alert levels and the ability to operate large public events in October.

Days of Ice celebrates Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Antarctic Gateway status and the Antarctic science season. The postponement moves the festival from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. This means many of the more than 40 events in Days of Ice that were scheduled for October can be moved to February.

Days of Ice is an umbrella celebration organized by the Christchurch Antarctic Office of events run by Antarctic stakeholders.

He Puna Taimoana reopens

He Puna Taimoana has re-opened, with reduced capacity.

The sauna and steam room will remain closed under Alert Level 2. 

Bookings are essential, including for members who will need to email or phone us.

If you're visiting He Puna Taimoana, please arrive wearing your swimwear under your clothing and turn up at your session time, not earlier. Masks are required to be worn in reception and the indoor changing rooms. Please ensure you scan the Covid-19 tracing app on arrival. 

If your booking was affected by our closure throughout lockdown, you can contact us to rebook a new session time. Our membership expiry dates will be automatically extended to reflect the time we were closed. 

Meetings update

From 8am Tuesday 14 September Council, Committee and Community Board Meetings will resume in person. The following protocols will apply:

Meetings in the Chambers and Committee Rooms:

 As these are not considered public spaces in-person access is limited to elected members, staff and the live stream contractor. Members of the public or media can:

  • Make deputations or public forum by Zoom
  • Watch the live stream if available
  • Access the detailed minutes of the meeting when available.

Meetings in Community Board Rooms:

Board rooms are not considered a public space so access is limited to board members and local governance staff. Members of the public or media can:

  • Make deputations or public forum by Zoom.
  • Access the detailed minutes of the meeting when available.

For any assistance with these arrangements please contact our Community Support, Governance and Partnerships Unit.

Swimming lessons

We have gone through an extensive review of our COVID Alert Level 2 Swimsmart Programme and have made changes based on the guidelines of the New Zealand Swim Coaches and Teachers Association, Sport New Zealand and the Government.

This means all lessons, for all levels – including Adult lessons - will continue to run.  Below are the guidelines/restrictions when attending lessons:

  • You must wear a mask when entering the facility.  This can be remove once you are in the learn to swim area.
  • Contact tracing is mandatory for anyone over the age of 12 years.  This can be done via the NZ COVID Tracer app, or by manually completing a sign in slip at the main entrance.
  • Instructors will be in the water where required
  • Limit of 1 parent/caregiver poolside.  Siblings will not be able to sit and watch.  This may mean you will need to drop off at entry point and return at the end of the lesson to collect the child from the exit point.
  • In the water, children will be able to participate in their lessons with their instructor. However, out of the water the 2 metres physical distancing applies.
  • If a child wishes to have a recreational swim after their lesson.  They will need to exit their lesson and go through reception to ensure there is capacity.  They will not be able to go direct from their lesson into a leisure space.

To ensure physical distancing is maintained:

  • Please only arrive a couple of minutes prior to your lesson commencing through the designated entry.
  • Please exit the pool area immediately after your lesson through the designated exit.
  • We request that children attend lessons already changed in their swimwear and where possible leave in their swimwear.
  • Bring a drink bottle if required – drinking fountains will not be operational.

For other enquiries, please email swimsmart@ccc.govt.nz

Community facilities

Under Alert Level 2, we’re reopening our community facilities from Thursday 9 September, with some changes in place to protect everyone using these facilities. We’ll be contacting our regular and casual hirers directly about their bookings.

It is the responsibility of groups or individuals hiring our community facilities to ensure that they meet the Government’s Alert Level 2 requirements and guidelines.

At Alert Level 2, contact tracing measures are in place. QR codes will be up at the entrance to our community facilities. People using our community facilities must scan in on entry via the COVID-19 tracing app, or sign in manually via the sign-in sheet provided.

Under Alert Level 2, it’s mandatory to wear a mask indoors where people gather publicly, so please wear your mask when you use our facilities. You must also keep two metres away from people you don’t know when you’re using our community facilities.

We’ll discuss Alert Level 2 requirements with you when you make a booking but the key things that you need to know when you are hiring a community centre under Alert Level 2 now are:

  • Physical distancing must be in place at all times during an event. Everyone must maintain a two-metre distance from people they don’t know when using a Council community facility.
  • Everyone must scan in via a COVID-19 QR code, or to manually sign in via a contact tracing register.
  • Everyone using our community facilities must wear a mask, except when they’re exercising.
  • All indoor events must be limited to 50 people at a time. This may be limited to fewer people depending on the size of the facility you’re hiring.
  • Good hygiene practices must be followed at all times. Please use hand sanitiser and cleaning products as appropriate.
  • Hirers must keep a record of who attends their events.


During Alert Level 2, there are different arrangements in place for Council meetings that are difficult to hold in person due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Council meetings and committee of the whole meetings are being held on video conference and will be live streamed so they can be watched by the public.

Committee and Community board meetings will proceed as scheduled via video conferencing and will be either recorded or minuted and posted to the Council website as appropriate.


All Council car parking buildings will be open under Alert Level 2.

Parking charges and enforcement will be back to normal in both parking buildings and on-street.

Contact tracing will be in place in our car parking buildings and everyone must sign in.

Under Alert Level 2, it’s mandatory to wear a mask indoors where people gather publicly, so please wear your mask when visiting our car parking buildings.

Christchurch Art Gallery

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū is open under Alert Level 2 from Thursday 9 September. The health and safety of visitors and staff is our top priority, so to keep everyone safe physical distancing, additional cleaning, and contact tracing are all in place.

We have two new exhibitions opening soon. Hellzapoppin’!: The Art of Flying Nun and Toga mo Bolata'ane by Kulimoe'anga Stone Maka.

Some of our public programmes will return where number limits and distancing can be maintained. Check the website, Instagram or Facebook for more details on the exhibition opening dates and planned or disrupted events.

For the latest information and opening hours please visit christchurchartgallery.org.nz

Akaroa Museum

Akaroa Museum is open under Alert Level 2 from Thursday 9 September. Opening hours are 10.30am to 4pm, seven days a week.

To keep everyone safe physical distancing, additional cleaning, and contact tracing are all in place. For more visit: akaroamuseum.org.nz

Sports fields and sports facilities

Sports fields, including NgāPuna Wai, are open. A limit of 100 people is in place for sports fields.

Council staff will look at current bookings to ensure these restrictions are complied with.

Organised sports training and games on parks can begin once sports clubs have undertaken necessary planning to ensure contact tracing, additional hygiene practices and physical distancing requirements are followed.

Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens are open under Alert Level 2.

Parks and playgrounds

All parks and facilities are open  under Alert Level 2.  Playgrounds and exercise equipment are again able to be used.

Information and visitor centres will open on Thursday 9 September.

Please Maintain a 2m distance from other people also enjoying the parks.


Cemeteries are still open, and under Alert Level 2, gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and up to 100 people outdoors are allowed at funerals, burials and tangihanga.

All people must wear a face covering and stay two metres distance from others.

Public transport

Environment Canterbury is advising that public transport under Delta Alert Level 2 will look a little different than usual. 

Under Delta Level 2,  buses can only carry their seated capacity.  This means that there can be no standing, and at peak times, this may mean that Environment Canterbury can't carry everyone on some of its services.  Here's what it is advising.

Reduced capacity 

Buses and ferries can only be filled with the number of people who can be seated.  There is no standing on public transport at Delta Level 2, and we are working on getting posters on board to remind customers of this. 

All of the seats on the bus can be used, because the no standing requirement caps the number of people on board at any time. 

If all the seats on the bus or ferry are full, it will display a ‘Full’ sign and will not be able to pick up additional passengers.  We ask that you plan ahead and allow plenty of time to reach your destination. We will do our best to limit the impact of this, but as all drivers and buses are already in use during the peak times, we can’t simply add more services. 

Public transport can be used for those that need to travel but we do need everyone to be aware there will be limited capacity at peak times. Please try and travel outside our peak times of 7am - 9am and 2.30pm – 5pm, weekdays unless you are going to or from work or education. 

School bus services

Dedicated school services are exempt from the no standing rule.  There will be no capacity restrictions on school services, either those contracted by schools or council-run services.

Because these are dedicated school services, face coverings and scanning in are not required either.  This is because the students are from a defined group where student lists are kept. 

School services will be back from Thursday. 

If your child takes a Metro public bus to school, unfortunately, it is likely that there will be capacity issues.  If you have alternatives, please avoid travel during peak times of 7am - 9am and 2.30pm – 5pm. We do understand this causes a lot of the inconvenience for families, but unfortunately as all of our buses and drivers are already working during the peak, we can’t simply add more services.  We will monitor capacities and keep you up to date through our Facebook page.


At Alert Level 2, Greater Christchurch public transport services will be operating under normal timetables.  

Face coverings and scanning in

Please scan the QR code nearest your seat, using the NZ COVID Tracer app. If you are unable to scan the QR code, you can call 03 366 8855 to register your travel.  

For everyone aged 12 and older, face coverings are mandatory on public transport unless you have an exemption for health reasons.  

Please, do not use public transport if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, are travelling to get a test, or awaiting results, or if you need to self-isolate.


Contactless payment is preferred, especially at Delta Level 2. 

Metrocards make this easy. We have waived the $5 fee for Metrocards ordered online until the end of this week, so if you haven’t got one yet, jump online today. 

You can register your card online for contactless top ups as well. Metrocards save you at least 25% compared to paying with cash. 

Boarding and alighting

You can board through the front door. Please use the rear door for disembarking unless you need to use the front door for accessibility reasons.    

Public transport facilities

The Bus Interchange and South side Riccarton Lounge will both be open at Alert Level 2. The North side Riccarton Lounge will not be open yet.

Remember to wear your face covering and scan in when entering these facilities. 

Our Metroinfo counter at the Bus Interchange will be open between 9am – 5.30pm Monday – Friday and 9am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday. 

The team are also available via phone at 03 366 88 55 between 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 7pm Sunday, or email at metro@ecan.govt.nz

Library services

  • All libraries will open to the public on Thursday 9 September 2021.
  • Entry to all libraries is limited. Government regulations for Alert Level 2 mean we need to limit capacity so that people can maintain physical distancing of 2m from others.
  • The number of people who can use each library at any given time will vary, depending on the size of the facility.
  • Contact tracing will be in place and everyone must sign in, either with the Covid Tracer app or manually using the slips provided.
  • Library cafes will reopen, provided they can put appropriate physical distancing measures in place.
  • Under Alert Level 2, it’s mandatory to wear a mask indoors where people gather publicly, so please wear your mask when visiting our libraries and facilities.
  • Library staff are able to help with borrowing and payments if you don’t wish to touch any of the equipment.
  • Some computers will be available for public use, so long as physical distancing is maintained. Time limits may be placed to ensure fair access for everyone.
  • We’ve extended the loan period on all borrowed items to Wednesday 22 September to give you time to return them.
  • If you have items on hold, we will keep them aside for you until Wednesday 22 September.
  • You will be able to place holds again from Saturday 11 September.
  • Computers, keyboards and self-serve kiosks will be regularly cleaned. 
  • The 3D printers and laser cutter at Tūranga are not available for in-library use. 
  • JP sessions are currently not available.
  • The use of meeting rooms is either unavailable or limited, depending on each library’s ability to meet health and safety requirements.
  • Children aged 12 and under need to visit the library with an adult.

Mobile and Outreach

  • All libraries programmes, including the Imagination Station, remain cancelled under Alert Level 2. Check out the event calendar for the latest information.
  • The Mobile Library is unavailable until Alert Level 1.

Finger Tip

  • The Fingertip Library, our virtual library information service and call centre, is available 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 9:30am-5pm on Saturday.

Online services

  • Our digital library is available for you to use 24/7.
  • Our ability to help you with reference enquiries may be limited.  Reference services are still available via FingerTip Library.
  • Visit our website for the latest library information.
  • Free wifi is available outside all libraries (including Tūranga).
  • The Librarian in your Lounge phone service will continue in Alert Level 2.

He Puna Taimoana

He Puna Taimoana will remain closed under Alert Level 2 to undertake for maintenance works and a deep clean.

In Level 3 we commenced works which required the pools to be drained. We are planning to re-open Monday 20 September.

If you have bookings when we are closed, your booking will be automatically put on hold and you can email us to re-book at info@hepunataimoana.co.nz .  If you are a member, your membership will continue to be on hold and will automatically re-activate when we’re open again.

Sport and recreation centres

All our sport and recreation centres, including Cowles stadium, will re-open Thursday 9 September at 5:30am.

Our pools

  • Pools will be open with reduced capacity. Bookings are not required.
  • The saunas and steam rooms will be closed and we'll be putting away the inflatables and hydrotherapy equipment at our pools. 
  • Bubbletimes and Sleepytimes will not go ahead. 
  • We will provide information about Swimsmart lessons shortly.

Our recreation centres

  • Bookings are essential to attend a group fitness class. 
  • Bookings aren’t required for our fitness centres, but please be prepared to wait if you arrive at a busy time, as we’ll need to control numbers.
  • Tumbletimes will run in a reduced capacity.

Rates payments

The deadline for Area 3 rates payments was 31 August, and with our service centres closed under COVID-19 Alert Levels 4 and 3, the Council is taking steps to make sure ratepayers who were unable to pay by alternative methods aren’t caught out.

They will have until close of business on Wednesday 15 September to pay at a service centre without incurring a penalty charge. We’re also encouraging residents who normally pay their rates in person to try out alternative ways to pay, such as direct debit, online banking, phone banking and credit card or debit card.

Transfer Stations – drop off facilities

Under Covid-19 Alert Level 2 our EcoDrop transfer stations and recycling centres at Metro Place, Styx Mill and Parkhouse Road are open to the public, no bookings are required.

We’re operating a full service, allowing you to drop-off general rubbish, greenwaste and recyclable materials from 7am-4.30pm, seven days a week.

The Ecoshop on Blenheim Road will also open under its normal operating hours.

If you live on Banks Peninsula, the Barry’s Bay Transfer Station is operating under winter hours until Sunday 26 September.

At Alert Level 2 we will be encouraging customers to scan in on entry via the Covid App tracing app or sign in manually. QR codes will be displayed across our facilities including at EcoDrop Recycling Centres and at the weighbridge/kiosk areas. Manual sign in will also be available.

The kerbside collection

Under Covid-19 Alert Level 2 our kerbside collection service will be running as normal.

Please continue to recycle and put only the correct, clean items into the yellow bin. Learn what these are at ccc.govt.nz/recycling.

Our inner-city bagged service will operate as normal.

Building consents

Processing of building consents will continue under Alert Level 2

On-site building inspections will also continue, with additional health and safety measures in place.

If appropriate safety protocols are not in place on a worksite our building inspectors will be unable to carry out the booked inspection. In these cases we will need to charge our normal inspection fee for the visit.

Remember, you can apply for a building consent online.

For advice prior to applying for a building consent contact DutyBCO@ccc.govt.nz

For more information about inspections, or to book, please phone our Inspections Support Team on 03 941 8222 or 0800 800 169.

Public toilets

Most public toilets will reopen under Alert Level 2.

Boat ramps, wharfs & jetties

These facilities will all be open for the public to use under Alert Level 2.

Construction projects

Under Alert Level 2, we will be continuing construction work on the sites where work was able to resume under Alert Level 3.  We are continuing to work with our contractors to ensure that strict COVID-19 hygiene measures are in place.

Transport projects

We resumed construction across many of our transport projects under Alert Level 3 and the remaining projects will resume under Alert Level 2.

Our contractors will continue to follow health and safety protocols under Alert Level 2, including bubbles and physical distancing wherever possible.

Contact Centre

  • Our customer contact centre remains open 24/7 under Alert Level 2.
  • You can continue to contact us by phone, email or online.


Life is back to normal for dogs at Covid-19 Alert Level 2.

Please keep your dog on a lead when walking in your neighbourhood and maintain social distancing from people you don’t know.

Dogs may be off-lead, under effective control in parks and dog parks.

 Please remember to pick up after your dog.

The bus interchange

The Bus Interchange is open and buses are going back to their regular timetables. Check metroinfo.co.nz for bus information.

Camping grounds

Council-owned campgrounds are open are open under Alert Level 2. However, we will be limiting numbers allowed in the communal spaces at the same time.