Update - Wednesday 23 December 2020

COVID-19 Local Government Response Unit main page

Surf Lifesaving New Zealand and summertime

SLSNZ want to work with local government to introduce a new measure to improve water safety should the country go into Alert Level 3.

SLSNZ have prepared some draft national messaging for Alert Levels 2 and 3 (PDF, 134KB) should New Zealand need to change levels over the summer as part of their resurgence planning. The draft messaging will be finalised should New Zealand change Alert Levels.

It is important to note that SLSNZ do not have the ability to enforce physical distancing rules – this is the responsibility of the individual.

At Alert Level 3, while people can go to the beach for a swim, SLSNZ may not have the staffing for full patrols. In this instance they may ‘red flag’ beaches. This is different to the standard red/yellow flags. It means lifeguards are unable to provide a full patrol with and/or the water conditions are too dangerous for swimming.

For ‘red flagging’ to be effective, SLSNZ will need the immediate support of the Local Councils to communicate that flagged beaches are unsafe to swim.  

Key messages to continue to promote in our communities

If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately. Stay home and call Healthline, your GP or nurse practitioner who can advise whether you should get tested. If you’re advised to get a test, please do so; do not wait until you are home to get tested.

Continue to sign into places using the NZ COVID-19 Tracer app or keep a record of where you’ve been. This is especially important when on holiday because you may not remember all the locations you have visited.

Maintain good hygiene, including washing and drying your hands, or use hand sanitiser if you are unable to wash your hands.

Turn Bluetooth on your mobile phones on.

The Response Unit’s Christmas arrangements

Over the Christmas period, the Response Unit’s governance team will operate on an on-call basis and will convene to support you as required.

You can send enquiries to your usual SOLGM, LGNZ, DIA contacts or this inbox: LGCGcovid19response@dia.govt.nz

Meri Kirihimete