TECT Park has closed its gates until further notice .
Western Bay of Plenty District Council chief executive Miriam Taris says the closure of TECT Park is to eliminate public confusion over access and to protect everyone’s welfare.
The Park’s closure will ensure the safety of everyone and reduce the risk of people participating in activities that may require them being rescued and therefore putting others’ health at risk.
“We cannot afford the risk of people at the park having an accident and having to call on emergency services that are already stretched under the COVID-19 crisis,” says Miriam.
“Government has also made it quite clear that no one should undertake outdoor activities that may require an emergency service response and further burden the health sector with injuries.
“Closing the park also eliminates any risk of people not complying with the physical distancing when using the park’s space.”
Council staff have put signage at all of its 50 playgrounds and will be removing swing seats and flying foxes to prevent use. Signage will also be located at all boat ramps advising boaties not to use them.
“It is very important that people stay away from playgrounds because the disease can stay on shared hard surfaces like swings and slides for up to 72 hours,” explains Miriam.
“Instead, parks remain open so you can get exercise and fresh air, as long as you practise isolation and safe social distancing.”
Parks are the only public facility in New Zealand still open under a Level 4 COVID-19 alert.
Government has made it clear that people must ‘stay local’ and only use public recreational facilities that are a short distance from their homes. This can mean people using a vehicle to drive to a park if it is close but too far to easily walk or cycle.
People who are walking their dogs are reminded to maintain the two-metre physical distance from other people at all times.