Keeping physical distancing at Alert Level 2

14 May 2020

Many Wellingtonians will be returning to work in the Wellington CBD now that New Zealand has moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 2 this week – and Wellington City Council wants to remind the public to maintain physical distancing by keeping left.

Image of Keep Left decals which will be placed in CBD to encourage physical distancing

Manager of Transport and Infrastructure, Siobhan Procter, says that being aware and alert to physical distancing on our footpaths will be part of the new normal we’ll need to remember when returning to work.

“We’re all now used to quieter streets and footpaths during Alert Levels 3 and 4, so we want to make sure our pedestrians stay safe and stay off the roads to pass others on the footpath.

“As the number of pedestrians increase we need to keep left on the footpath and where possible walk on the footpath on the left hand side of the road.”

Siobhan says when you’re walking through high traffic areas such as Stewart Dawson’s corner, at the Willis St and Lambton Quay intersection, then you may need “to walk in single file”, she explains.

Staying alert as we move through the streets is important as we transition between Alert Levels. Siobhan advises that trying not to get distracted by your smart phone and to queue parallel to the footpath when you are waiting for your coffee or to use an ATM, are good practices to follow.

The Council will monitor busy intersections where people usually stand shoulder to shoulder, and will be able to increase the time to cross the road to accommodate self-distancing.

“We are also working with our road work contractors to ensure the public can move around the sites safely and maintain distance. Remember, to follow the instructions of the crew on sites,” adds Siobhan.

Mayor Andy Foster says: “Alert Level 2 means we can all start to move around our city again, and as a city we need to do what we can to minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19.

“So this means that we still need to keep 2 metres distance from others and allow extra time for usual journeys in the CBD to grab a coffee, lunch or walking to a meeting or appointment – and to stay alert!

“We also need to keep showing the patience and kindness we've become so good at showing each other during the lockdown.”

Footpath decals will be placed around the city over the next few days to encourage the public to stay left.