A shift to Alert Level 3 restrictions this week will bring small but noticeable differences for Clutha residents.
In similar fashion to last year, the move to Covid›19 Alert Level 3 yesterday has resulted in many smaller local retail and food businesses getting back in the swing of things.
It will be a familiar experience for most, replicating Level 3 safety rules from last year with some additions, put in place to keep customers and staff safe from the new Delta variant of the virus, while continuing to trade and provide friendly customer service.
Ewan Allan Honda Balclutha manager Gavin Sutton said his team had been quietly working away, keeping essential services based around primary industries going.
‘‘We were prepared for it this time, but it came at what is our busiest time of the year — calving and lambing season.
“We have been maintaining an emergency breakdown service for all our customers under Level 4 and, with the return to Level 3, we will again have more of our mechanics on duty.
‘‘We’ve been using social media to keep all our customers up to date with what services we can provide and, even though the front door will still be locked under Level 3, customers can give us a call as we are still working inside but practising social distancing and safe work habits,’’ he said.
S&S Builders Ltd co› proprietor Sarah Van Asperen said she and her team were excited to be back at work.
She had been busy working from home, liaising with clients and suppliers in preparation for the easing of Level 4 restrictions.
“This time round it was pretty much the same as before. It’s been good in terms of the fact we know what we can and can’t do; this time all the existing protocols are actually still in place because the pandemic has really never left us, we have always had the QR codes and hand sanitisers on hand on our sites, now it’s about refreshing everybody’s requirements to sanitise and scan.’’ Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan encouraged people to follow the rules.
“When you look at how the Delta strain is changing everything we know about Covid, it’s now more important than ever to remember our collective responsibilities.
“Level 3 is actually a privilege that gives greater freedom, while at the same time exposing us all to greater risk, so we all need to be vigilant.”
Rural posties Megan and Mark Pope said the demand for their services around Clinton had remained steady during the past two weeks.
However, they were expecting a massive rise in deliveries once warehouse workers returned to work.
“There are already lots of parcels each day, but we think it will be just like last time, and a big flood as the back orders are filled,” Mrs Pope said.