Media Release 10 April 2020 - Staycation, not vacation this Easter
11 Apr 2020, 1:00 PM
Waipa, Otorohanga and Waitomo residents are being asked to have a staycation, not a vacation this Easter.
Easter weekend under the COVID-19 level four lockdown has seen increased Police checkpoints established across the Waikato to help prevent motorists travelling for non-essential purposes.
Police are turning back all motorists who don’t meet essential criteria, including those heading to popular holiday destinations.
Western Waikato Emergency Operations Centre, local controller, Wayne Allan, said Easter is a great time to spend with your household bubble at your regular residence.
“Make the most of this time and have a staycation with your household bubble. Bake some hot cross buns, colour an Easter Egg, call or video chat the people you miss,” said Allan.
“Staying at home also makes it easier for the Easter Bunny to visit.”
Two weeks into the four-week lockdown saw the lowest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Zealand since before the lockdown began. Confirmed cases current sit at 1,239.
“Moving to another location increases the opportunity for the virus to spread, even though you think you’re keeping within the bubble rules. You need to stay local.”
Growing reports of people travelling late at night to avoid checkpoints are causing concerns for residents in local holiday hotspots Kawhia and Aotea Harbour.
Year-round coastal residents, who rely on dairies and small local supermarkets for essential shopping, are worried people heading to holiday homes will buy up stocks and leave shops empty for those who have limited options.
Allan said Police checkpoints are in place at destinations across the western Waikato.
“You won’t avoid a police checkpoint by travelling late at night. Stay at home.” Allan added.
Approved travel purposes include accessing essential services, shopping for food or medicine or an essential worker heading to, from, or as part of their work. All other excuses are unacceptable.
With the Easter Bunny approved as an essential worker by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, children may still get Easter egg deliveries if the Easter Bunny isn’t busy looking after their own family.
Stay kind, be considerate
Public Information Manager - Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre
027 382 3218 | firstname.lastname@example.org