Using Community Spaces During Lockdown

With community facilities being closed to limit transmission of COVID-19, but an encouragement to get fresh air and exercise, there is some confusion about how people should be using community spaces during lockdown.

Playground taped off during Coronavirus outbreakEarlier this week Council was disappointed to find someone had tampered with a gate at the Kaiapoi Dog Park, resulting in members of the public using the area.

All playgrounds and dog parks in Waimakariri have been closed to limit transmission of COVID-19 to keep the community safe. Dog parks pose a risk, both because of high-touch surfaces such as gates and water fountains, as well as the high chance of dogs from different ‘bubbles’ mixing together.

“The Council is asking the public to report any tampering they come across and to not use facilities that have been closed for the safety of the wider community,” says GreenSpace Manager, Grant MacLeod

“While we have taped off playgrounds and locked some gates but it’s not practical to do this for every public park and facility. We’re really relying on people using their common sense and being responsible in line with the Governments guidelines around physical distancing. This includes the appropriateness of how far people should travel to exercise.”

The Council urges people to listen to advice about avoiding unnecessary travel for the purpose of recreation.

This means avoiding driving out of immediate neighbourhoods unless accessing essential service and exercising in areas close to the home.  Dogs should be considered part of the family’s bubble, so keeping them on the leash during walks is recommended.

Beach access gates have been closed at The Pines Beach, Woodend, Pegasus and Waikuku Beaches. The horse float car park at Waikuku is locked, and key holders are urged to refrain from using the area during Alert Level 4.

Those who have concerns about people gathering or not self-isolating as required can report it to Police via a new online form.

More information about staying at home and physical distancing can be found on the official COVID-19 website.