News | 20 March 2020
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Wellington public facilities to stay open for now

Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says swimming pools, libraries and other community facilities around the city will remain open for now but that the Covid-19 situation is being closely monitored.

The Zoo, Zealandia, City Gallery Wellington,  Wellington Museum, Space Place at Carter Observatory and Cable Car Museum will also remain open, but may also offer reduced programmes.

Details of what’s open and what’s not can be found here.

Mayor Foster says Wellington City Council staff have made the call that complying with maximum crowd size limits of 100 people in one enclosed space is realistic across the Council’s facilities and so they can remain open for now.

“Of course we are taking guidance from the Ministry of Health and the District Health Board and will close facilities if they direct us to do so. Until then the facilities will be open as long as the public demand is there - we understand how important our facilities are for people’s health and wellbeing.”

Chief Executives of the region’s councils are closely monitoring the situation and are working together to ensure a consistent approach to the possible closure of facilities.

As a precaution, all Wellington City Council facilities and libraries will be collecting people’s contact details. This is so we are able to contact people if another person visiting our sites at the same time becomes unwell. This is in line with Ministry of Health guidelines.

“Notwithstanding that we’re noticing significant drops in the number of people coming through the doors, staff will keep a close eye on the numbers of people using our facilities at any one time with a view to keeping usage safe,” says Mayor Foster.

“If necessary, people will be asked to wait or come back at a quieter time if facilities are nearing the 100-person limit. We may also need to restrict the number of people in classes and programmes. Our staff will encourage physical distancing by facility users. Our facilities are also being more actively cleaned each day.

“We ask our customers to be patient in these unusual circumstances.”

Mayor Foster says it is possible some facilities may shorten opening hours if usage continues to decline as people stay at home – but that stage has not yet been reached.