7 May 2020

Christchurch City Council is working on plans for re-opening its public facilities under Alert Level 2.

Sport and recreation centres, libraries, pools, community centres and playgrounds have all been closed since late March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Christchurch Art Gallery, the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, the Civic Offices and Council Service Centres have also been closed.

However, the Government has today announced that such facilities will be allowed to re-open under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 as long as they limit the number of people inside at once and keep groups of attendees one metre apart.

Mary Richardson, who leads the Council’s COVID-19 Incident Management Team, says staff have been working on plans for how the city’s public facilities can safely operate under Alert Level 2.

“The Government’s detailed outline today of what the Level 2 rules are mean we can now finalise our plans for re-opening these facilities so that we can bring back a degree of normality to our residents lives.’’

Ms Richardson says the facilities will re-open gradually to ensure the health and safety of users.

“The health and safety of our residents and staff remains our top priority. Along with robust cleaning processes, we’re putting processes in place at all our facilities to ensure that we can maintain physical distancing and enable contact tracing. That means some facilities will need to operate differently to how they operated earlier in the year,’’ Ms Richardson says.

“We’ll also be asking residents to do their bit to help keep us all well.  That means staying at home if you, or anyone in your house, is unwell, and maintaining physical distancing.

“We are looking forward to being able to welcome people back into our facilities. Our teams have done an amazing job with their online offerings, but it will be fantastic to be able to open the doors again.

“In coming days, we’ll be able to give people more information about how they’ll be able to access our facilities and services when the country does move to Alert Level 2.”