The Government has announced that New Zealand is moving Alert Level 1 on Wednesday, October 7 at 11.59pm. This means Auckland Transport (AT) services are largely returning to normal operations.
The Government has advised the general rule for Alert Level 1 is that COVID-19 is contained in New Zealand but still uncontrolled overseas. This means that it is still important for Aucklanders to be ready in case COVID-19 reappears in our community. If someone is feeling sick, they should stay home. They should not go to work or school and do not socialise if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or are awaiting a COVID-19 test result.
The Government continues to ask everyone to keep track of where they have been and who they have seen to assist with quick contact tracing should new cases appear.
Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed the move to Alert Level 1.
“Aucklanders have come together to constrain COVID-19 for a second time, and I want to thank everyone for their efforts and the sacrifices they have made to achieve this result,” he says.
“I encourage Aucklanders to get out and enjoy everything our region has to offer now we’re at Alert Level 1.
“Please also remember to continue the good practices we have learned over recent months: stay home and get tested if you’re sick, wash your hands frequently, and keep track of your movements with the NZ COVID Tracer app.”
As per Government requirements, QR codes will still be displayed on public transport and AT recommends scanning these codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app.
In addition to scanning the Ministry of Health’s QR code, AT recommends that customers also register their AT HOP card to help with contact tracing. This will also allow us to monitor passenger numbers and make fast adjustments to services if required due to changes in demand. We will be working to make those changes as quickly as possible and again advise customers to plan their journey.
The Government is also asking everyone to continue with public health measures that were encouraged under all Alert Levels such as washing your hands frequently, coughing into your elbow and avoiding touching your face as much as possible.
The Government advises that continuing good habits with face coverings will keep you and others safe, even at Alert Level 1 when it’s no longer compulsory.
The Government and AT encourage customers to wear face coverings on public transport, including when at our stops and facilities. You are encouraged to have a supply of face coverings for everyone who usually lives in your household and to add some to your household emergency kit.
We also ask customers to go back to front-door boarding on buses when we are at Alert Level 1.
AT is continuing to ensure that all public transport is being cleaned throughout its daily service. Buses and trains are being spot-checked, with surfaces being sanitised, and we have enhanced our cleaning regime to include antimicrobial protection fogging (spraying) of facilities and our fleet.
Public transport fares will return to normal at Alert Level 1. However, we will continue to only accept AT HOP card payments on vehicles as this will help us to support contact tracing requirements should they become necessary. If customers need assistance in obtaining or loading an AT HOP card, they can visit a customer service centre or call 09 355 3553.
Now with public transport returning to normal services and capacity levels, we remind customers about our to improved AT Mobile app to help Aucklanders plan their trips and get around the city efficiently.
Our live occupancy feature, which displays how many people are on a bus or train service at any given time so customers will know how busy it will be before they board, now also appears under the journey planner area of the app. We have also added the ability to check the status of a train line in the app so customers can now know the information before they even head out the door. AT Mobile can be download at: https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/more-services/mobile-services/
Again, we strongly recommend that customers register their AT HOP card to help with contact tracing. If you’ve already registered your AT HOP card, we also ask that you make sure your contact details are up to date. Those who do not already have an AT HOP card can find a retailer at at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/at-hop-card/at-hop-retailers
All customer services centres at public transport hubs will re-open at Alert Level 1. However the Botany, Manukau Train Station and AUT customer service centres will close permanently.
Paper tickets will be available from ticketing machines and customer service centres from Thursday morning. Customer service centres will also accept cash payments from customers at Alert Level 1.
We are also reminding people to look out for vulnerable road users when they travel. More than ever people are using their road space to walk or use a bike, and as a team of 1.4M Aucklanders we can all play a role in keeping everyone safe.
For more information on walking and cycling visit at.govt.nz/cycling-walking
AT projects will now follow Alert Level 1 requirements, which means the need for physical distancing has been removed and the focus will be on hygiene, contact tracing and ensuring workers stay at home if sick.
The public will see little change under Alert Level 1 other than some construction areas potentially expanding to use areas previously set aside for physical distancing. Project timelines remain under review.
We know these changes in Alert Levels in recent weeks have been unusual and stressful times once again for everyone. We want to say thank you to all front-line workers who have kept the city moving during these changes, as well as Aucklanders for their understanding and patience. We ask that everyone continues to be kind to each other as the city, and the country, returns to this new normal.
The best place to find the latest information about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is on the Government’s COVID-19 website.
Auckland Transport’s COVID-19 page is at at.govt.nz/COVID-19
For any other queries, the Auckland Transport call centre is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 09 355 3553.