Aucklanders dreading idea lockdowns could continue through to Christmas

Source: 1News

Aucklanders are heading into a critical week with health experts warning the Covid-19 outbreak could go either way.

Endocrinologist Dr Nitasha Rimar said without masks, social distancing would need to extend to up to eight metres in enclosed areas.

By Liu Chen of rnz.co.nz

Aucklanders are urging their fellow city-dwellers to follow the rules after reports of people flocking to popular beach suburbs during the weekend, with pictures showing some unmasked and in close proximity.

It was the first weekend in Alert Level 3 after six weeks of level 4 lockdown, and many Aucklanders were out and about enjoying the warmer spring weather.

But there are concerns people travelled further than they should have and weren't observing the rules.

Sharon Maxey was both sad and angry that some people seemed to have become complacent.

"To see people converging at such numbers, I find it very hard to watch because we've really, really hunkered down and tried so hard."

Maxey owns a cafe but she will only open up when the city moves to Level 2. Following the rules was in everyone's interest so Auckland can have more freedom, she said.

"Think of the community. Think of not just yourself. I understand it's very, very difficult and mentally it's very challenging and difficult but please think of the country at large."

Mya Fraser lives close to One Tree Hill - a popular walking and recreation spot. She has also noticed things have changed since Auckland moved to Level 3.

"We've noticed the volume of cars just even on the main street. It's been crazy. It's almost double what we would normally get on a normal day. Even walking around Cornwall Park daily and we've noticed groups of up to 15 just walking around and you can tell they're definitely not from the same household," she said.

"You know with decisions coming up in terms of how long we're going to stay in Level 3, it's kind of making me doubt that we're going to see a lot more freedoms coming our way if we're not too careful, so [I'm] definitely quite concerned."

Another woman did not believe more people were breaking the rules, but were just more visible.

"I think those people that were abiding by the rules before are probably doing it now and those that weren't before are probably not doing it now," she said.

"I don't think it's wise or very smart of the people that are doing it. I don't think they're thinking about other people."

Darryl Myocevich agreed complacency was a problem.

"It's probably pretty easy for us to get into the same sort of state as Australia and other countries that have been not really observing the proper lockdown rules and stuff like we have."

Elijah Bracken encouraged everyone to think twice before breaking their bubble.

"It's not that hard. Most of us can do it. It's just really that you've got to do what you got to do. We are all in the same boat."

Aucklanders RNZ spoke to dreaded the idea lockdowns could continue through to Christmas if we can't get on top of the outbreak.

"I don't think anyone wants to see us locked up and stuck in our little bubbles for Christmas, so fingers crossed everyone sticks to the rules, and then we come out of this as soon as possible," Fraser said.

There is a target to vaccinate 90 per cent of Aucklanders with at least one dose by this time next week when the government will review lockdown Level 3 restrictions.