Auckland Transport (AT) is urging recreational boaties in the Auckland region to stay off the water during the 4-week long COVID-19 lockdown.
The Government has said people can go outside for exercise - while the Level 4 restrictions are in place, but Auckland’s harbourmaster says people should not go boating.
Harbourmaster Andrew Hayton says activities that put people at risk are completely unacceptable and people need to think of other Aucklanders during this time.
Captain Hayton says if boaties were to need rescue services, this could take up precious resources during the nationwide lockdown. It would also place coastguard volunteers at risk. Getting provisions and fuel could also create opportunities to transmit the virus.
“All non-essential boating must stop,” Captain Hayton says.
“Anchored boats must remain where they are - so long as it is safe to do so. Where you are now is where you need to stay for the next month. This is a national emergency and we all want to save lives, not endanger them."
Captain Hayton says that boaties who are presently living on a boat should follow the same lockdown rules as those living ashore.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff backs the Harbourmaster’s comments.
“We all have one job to do at this time: stop the spread of COVID-19. We will do this by staying at home as much as possible and cutting out all non-essential travel —this definitely includes boating.
“I urge people to comply with the Harbourmaster’s instructions. However tempting it might be to use the lockdown period to pursue leisure activities like boating, doing so will put lives at risk.
“We need to stay at home as much as possible to break the chain of infection. This is critical at a time when the infection rates are continuing to rise.”
Police now have the power to enforce self-isolation rules. To report someone not self-isolating: NHCCselfisolation@health.govt.nz