Saturday, December 4

Aucklanders tired of the confinement: ‘He crawls a lot’

It is the 83rd day of lockdown for Aucklandites, yes, we are counting, and many feel that the increase in the number of cases will overshadow any easing of the restrictions this week.

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The cabinet will decide today if Aucklan can move to higher freedoms at level 3, step 2 can do so starting Wednesday, and will announce any changes to the alert level for Upper Northland.
Photo: 123rf

The city is at level 3, step 1, and today the government will decide whether a movement towards greater freedoms at level 3, step 2 can continue as of Wednesday.

In step 2, stores can open up to socially estranged customers and people can meet outdoors in large numbers.

RNZ spoke to residents gathered in bubbles for picnics in Okahu Bay.

Anvil Banez, who rode his bike to the beach, was confident about any possible relief from confinement restrictions.

“It’s been going on a long time. I think it would be really nice to get a sense of normalcy again. Maybe just go to the Westfield Mall or something, do a little window shopping again, that definitely hasn’t been around for a while. “

Others were concerned about easing restrictions given the growing number of cases – the city hit a new daily record of 200 cases on Saturday.

Jackie Hokai was dealing with the fatigue of the confinement, but understood the need to do so.

“Quite heterogeneous, I am happy because people will be able to go shopping and it is good for business, but on the other hand it could make things worse.”

A health worker, she works with disabled people and will continue to shop online if the malls reopen.

“I won’t go shopping, not places I don’t need to go. I’m a healthcare worker, so I’ll try to stay away from as many bubbles as I can.”

That he hopes to go to level 3, step 2, so he can see his broader family.

“I can still work and that sort of thing, which is good, but life isn’t all about work. Just simple things like seeing family and being with family … sucks a bit.”

Simon Fell was on his second visit to the beach for the day, bringing his lounger to catch up with a friend.

He felt that it was the right time to start easing the restrictions.

“It’s a step forward, it will help the local restaurant industry and things like that, I think it’s a good thing. Again, we have to be careful as long as we get over that 90 percent, vaccinate everyone.”

Sam Jurriaans, who has worked in retail, was drawn to the industry.

“I’m well aware of the fact that retail really needs to open for Christmas for people to survive and for the economy, but I’m also concerned about Delta’s expansion.”

He said that opening shopping malls before allowing people to visit relatives in their homes was disconcerting.

“There is also a bit of frustration with inconsistencies, like I can go to a mall with thousands of vaccinated and potentially unvaccinated people, but I can’t go to my mother’s house.”

Sam’s brother Patrick said Auckland locals just wanted a great Christmas.

“Personally, I think Christmas is really what everyone is waiting for, it shows,” he said.

“I think the government also understands that, I don’t know how they are going to implement it, it will be very complicated with the number of people traveling but I think it is a priority for everyone. We just need a little light at the end of the tunnel.”

The decision on alert levels for Auckland and Upper Northand will be released at the post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon.

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