New level of freedom begins

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

Today the Clutha district has reopened under Level 2. Residents can move around New Zealand, go shopping on Clyde St, get a haircut and sit down for a meal at a restaurant.

But people must maintain distance from strangers and abide by the latest rules in the fight against Covid-19.

If you fancy a drink out with mates then you will have to wait another week, as bars will remain closed until May 21. For those seeking a haircut, the appointment lists have been growing steadily.

Halo Hair and Beauty owner Dee Nicol, of Balclutha, said while it was exciting she
knew she was going to put in some long hours in the salon in the coming weeks.

“Ever since we came down from Level 4 my phone has been ringing with people wanting to book in,’’ Mrs Nicol said.

‘‘I have all the PPE but I’m waiting for official verification on what levels we need, which I hope to have set in place by Thursday.”

To allow time to prepare, the Government has advised schools will go back on Monday.
Balclutha Primary School principal Paddy Ford said they were looking forward to facing the challenges of reopening to all pupils.

“I am sure we will cope with whatever new challenges we are faced with as we all miss the face-to-face culture that schooling gives us,” he said.

Advice from the Ministry of Education had been good and the school would cope with the new rules, such as pupils needing to bring their own drink bottles as fountains were not to be used.

“We are much luckier than many and acknowledge that there will be anxiety.

‘‘We will do what we can to alleviate that.”

Balclutha retailer Emma Hutton, from Roots, said she was ‘‘super, super excited’’’ to be open again.

“We have been trading online but we love being able to be open as a retail business again,” Ms Hutton said.

Clutha Licensing Trust general manager Mike Curtis said he was surprised and pleased by the Level 2 requirements.

“Previously they were talking about separate seating. Now we will have everyone sitting and with groups of up to 10 acceptable. It will make it so much more easier to manage,” Mr Curtis said.

The licensing trust had five of its six sites operational and planned to reopen the Southy complex ‘‘shortly’’.

‘‘We have been working under the Level 3 click›and›collect rules and we are looking forward to reopening all the CLT sites,” he said.

The Government has set the limit of 10 people as the maximum for attendees at parties, meetings, religious services and groups of friends going to restaurants.