INDEPENDENT NEWS

Council Facilities And Services At Orange COVID-19 Traffic Light Level

Published: Thu 2 Dec 2021 05:36 PM
With the region moving to the Orange Level of the Government’s COVID-19 traffic light system tomorrow, Hastings District Council has brought in some new protocols to comply with the national requirements.
Council chief executive Nigel Bickle said Council was closely following the Government guidance and what that means for council facilities and services.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers, staff and communities is our top priority.
“We are at the Orange setting, initially for two weeks. This situation is constantly evolving and we are closely monitoring the guidance and vaccine requirements so we can adapt as necessary.
“Across all our facilities and services we are trying to provide alternatives for those people for whom access may be restricted.”
Three council facilities will always require visitors aged 12 and over to have a Ministry of Health-issued vaccine pass at all times – Toitoi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre, FlaXrock Gym and the Hastings Sports Centre.
For Toitoi in the orange setting, the use of vaccine passes allows it to operate at full capacity, with no physical distancing, so as well as events its hospitality offerings can also resume.
Given safety is the top priority, people will still be encouraged to wear masks while in the venue, particularly if the event they’re attending includes those under the age of 12, who are not eligible for vaccination.
At the three council libraries, Hastings, Havelock North and Flaxmere, vaccine passes will not be required. Any events or activities that would require a vaccine pass will be held outside of regular opening hours.
At Hastings City Art Gallery, when an event is on, such as an exhibition opening where there will be larger gatherings and people in close proximity, vaccine passes will be required. At all other times it will operate as a public facility and not require passes.
At Flaxmere and Camberley Community Centres, some activities such as fitness classes will require vaccine passes, but otherwise they will operate as public facilities and not require passes.
The pools at Flaxmere, Clive, Frimley and Havelock North will be vaccine pass locations when events are on, such as swim meets, but otherwise passes won’t be needed.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was an unsettling and difficult time for the community, both for those that choose to be vaccinated, and those that don’t.
“As a council we have to do all we can to keep our community safe when they are using our facilities and services, and for legal reasons we also have to follow government guidance on how to go about this.
“We’ve achieved great results for our vaccination rates and with these new settings, vaccine passes will allow us more freedoms – please be kind to each other and to our staff as we get through this.”

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