Well done for taking up the challenge, for banding together – apart – and for playing your role in this colossal fight against the Covid-19 virus. What we have achieved together, getting out of Alert Level 4, is no mean feat.
The last month has turned our lives upside down. The coronavirus has proved incredibly contagious and deadly, here and overseas – and I have to add that the efforts you have all made have been noticed around the world.
In short, it’s been really tough, and I think we should all be proud of the respect and commitment we’ve shown to our city, our country, and each other. Things are certainly not back to normal, nor should we let our guards down, but getting to Alert Level 3 is an achievement worth quietly celebrating.
So thank you.
From today, lockdown restrictions have eased for some businesses in certain industries. For your Council that means we can crack on with a number of key construction and infrastructure projects around the city, bringing lots of workers back on site.
It also means there will be more traffic out and about on our roads, so please watch your speeds, watch out for cyclists and pedestrians. There are a lot of people out exercising in this lovely weather – please be patient.
Other businesses opening today include many of our local eateries, under specific Level 3 health and safety guidelines. I know we have all been looking forward to this: we are after all a city of foodies.
There are 1800 hospitality businesses in Wellington, and we estimate around 30 percent of those will be operating in some capacity in the coming weeks.
Our Public Health team has been contacting traders and answering questions, and providing them with advice on food safety obligations and licensing regulations. They will also be monitoring the situation to ensure compliance. If you see something that doesn’t look right, let us know. Safety is paramount, especially now.
The Council has also been supporting the hospitality industries in other ways too – including a rates relief package and creating a way to offer partial refunds to the hospitality industry. They will be able to apply for that this week.
We’re also proud supporters of the team behind Visa Wellington on a Plate, and the launch of the online food directory ‘At Yours’ this week. It’s been created to showcase Wellington food businesses providing takeaways, ready-meals, meal-kits, and beverages via contactless delivery or click and collect during Alert Levels 3 and 2.
If you’ve seen people around Wellington today enjoying their first flat white in a month – they’re making the most of that new service, and good on them. Personally, my family and I are eyeing up heading down to check out the wonderful range on offer in our waterfront cafes and restaurants.
That’s all for today. Keep to your bubbles, keep following the latest Government advice on what to do and what not to do.
With some extra freedom to get out and about, it is even more important that we keep showing the awesome responsibility we’ve shown under Level 4. We haven’t beaten this virus yet, but we will do if we all keep doing our bit.
Keep up the good work everyone, and I’ll be back with another update soon.