Recreation groups support calls for safe domestic travel in Level 2
Recreation Aotearoa and the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) both support calls today from the tourism sector to reduce restrictions around non-essential travel during Covid 19 Alert Level 2.
As well as the impact on tourism, non-essential travels restrictions have badly affected recreational organisations, clubs and their members.
“We believe that safe travel protocols can make domestic travel during Alert Level 2 possible without increasing public health risks” said Recreation Aotearoa Advocacy Manager, Sam Newton.
“For so many New Zealanders, outdoor recreation plays a major role in their lives and is important for physical and mental wellbeing. Unfortunately, not everyone is fortunate enough to live close to our bush, mountains, lakes and streams yet enjoyment and appreciation of those places is part of what it means to be a New Zealander,” Mr Newton said.
“It would be great for the tourism sector, and also the recreation sector, if safe domestic travel was possible under Alert Level 2” he said.
“Like most New Zealanders, our members have played their part in helping stop the spread of this virus by staying at home and observing physical distancing protocols. Unfortunately, that has meant cancellation or postponement of all Club events and trips, which has affected us in many ways” Lindsay Smith, President of NZAC said.
“A move to Alert Level 2 would be a significant milestone in the fight against Covid19 and we believe that, with safe travel protocols, it should be possible for our members to return to the outdoors” he said.
“The outdoor recreation community has responsibly observed physical distancing and other Covid19 safety protocols under Alert Level 3. But for many of our members if they cannot travel, then they cannot engage in outdoor recreation” Mr Smith said.
Both organisations hope that the government will reconsider domestic travel settings for Alert Level 2.