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Level change positive for Kiwis planning to walk Te Araroa News Article
Capacity limits will be removed from most Department of Conservation huts and campsites tonight following the Government’s decision to lower the COVID-19 Alert Level settings.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that all of New Zealand, apart from Auckland, would move to Alert Level 1 from 11.59pm tonight (21 September).
Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Wednesday 23 September, down from a heightened Alert Level 2.5 which placed greater restrictions on gathering limits.
The shift in Alert Levels comes at a good time for New Zealanders hoping to walk all or part of Te Araroa this Spring and Summer. At Alert Level 1, DOC huts and campsites can operate at full capacity, which will increase the chances of being able to find a convenient place to stay for the while on the trail.
The one exception to this is the Auckland region, where DOC huts and campsites will continue to operate at 50% capacity until Alert Level 2 settings are lifted. At Alert Level 2, walkers should take extra care to physically distance, maintain good hygiene and have a tent with them in case a hut they are visiting is at capacity and physically distancing is not possible.
Ardern said the Government intends to move Auckland to Alert Level 1 on 7 October if evidence suggests community transmission of COVID-19 has again been eliminated from New Zealand.
Government restrictions on international travel into New Zealand remain in place and are likely to continue for some months yet. For more information about restrictions on international travel to New Zealand, visit the border restrictions page of the Government’s COVID-19 website.