CEO Jonty Mills has asked that people refrain from heading to the water during the lockdown period. “Everyone has to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and that means staying out of the water. Our frontline search and rescue services are largely volunteers and will also be in lockdown and if they have to respond to an emergency you are putting them at risk through potential exposure to COVID-19.”
There has been an intensive social media campaign from Water Safety New Zealand regarding the public heading to the water during the quarantine period. Although there have also been consistent messages from the Ministry of Health and the Government, New Zealand Police will continue to enforce the quarantine regulations around the water and will talk to the public about lockdown expectations if necessary.
For those who are quarantined in campgrounds and near water, Mills says “people living in campgrounds will have to follow the same guidelines as everybody else. Staying in your bubble, practicing physical distancing and avoiding high risk activity and staying out of the water. You are still able to travel to buy supplies.”
The advice from Water Safety New Zealand is clear, “it is important everybody plays their part. This is a time for New Zealanders to pull together to ensure that our emergency services are available to help those in highest need. The Prime Minister’s advice is clear. Stay at home to save lives.”