MoE update 5 March 2021

Early Learning Bulletin 5 March 2021

Auckland to move to Alert Level 2, rest of New Zealand to Alert Level 1

Kia ora koutou

I am so pleased to hear the Prime Minister announce the drop in alert levels. Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 at 6am Sunday 7 March. The rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 1 at the same time. This will be the case for a week and the Prime Minister announced the Government would look to review before the start of the weekend.

I know the past week, in particular, has really put pressure on many of you, your communities and their livelihoods. I am sure Auckland services are looking forward to welcoming all children back (albeit under Alert Level 2 restrictions), while the rest of you will enjoy moving back to Alert Level 1. 

We’ve included some reminder information today – see below.

Can I also acknowledge all of you affected by mother nature’s outburst today.

Ngā manaakitanga

In today’s Bulletin

  • Reminder information
  • Swimming at Alert Level 2
  • Excursions at Alert Level 2

Reminder information

To keep your whānau and everyone else safe it’s important to remember Alert Level 2 means you need to:

  • Keep your distance from other people when out in public.
  • Wear a face covering on public transport and wherever you can’t maintain a physical distance of 2m from others when out in public. 
  • Stay at home if you are sick; don’t go to work or early learning and don’t socialise. 
  • If you have symptoms of a cold or flu, or aches and pains, call your doctor or Healthline and ask about getting tested. 
  • Keep washing your hands.
  • And keep track of where you’ve been at all times.

Further information:

As always if you have any questions or comments please get in touch.

Swimming at Alert Level 2

Parks, swimming pools and other public facilities are open at Alert Level 2 but need to continue to operate safely. 

The World Health Organisation advises that the COVID-19 virus does not transmit through water while swimming. However, the virus spreads between people when someone has close contact with an infected person. 

At Alert Level 2 there is no physical distancing requirements for children at early learning services. However, where practicable, children are encouraged to not breath on or not touch each other, and adults should use 1 metre as a guide between themselves and other adults. You should be able to go ahead with swimming activities, but they will need some consideration to ensure that everyone is keeping a reasonable distance from each other both in the pool, and out of the pool. Anyone who is feeling unwell should be staying away and seeking advice about getting tested.

If you have others coming onsite, e.g. key holders and their family and friends using the pool, you will want to align your practices with those applied in public facilities.

The following websites have further information:

Excursions at Alert Level 2

Taking your alert levels with you
If or when we move from an Alert Level 2 region to an Alert Level 1 region, advice is often given to “take your alert level with you”. 

The only significant difference for services operating at Alert Level 1 or 2 is the physical distancing requirements. Not breathing on or touching each other at Alert Level 2 where practicable, and no constraints at Alert Level 1 (with the exception that in general everyone is asked to keep physically distanced from people they don’t know).

The risk for travelling to a region with lower alert levels is particularly focused on high risk situations. An example of this would be going to large events where someone could potentially infect a large number of strangers, or in a situation where contact tracing would be very difficult to narrow down. 

Because of the controlled nature of an excursion, services will know who is there (contact tracing), children are overseen by staff and adult volunteers, good hygiene systems are in place along with systems for managing illness, not interacting closely with other groups during the excursion etc. Therefore your parents should have confidence to operate in an Alert Level 1 region. 

Avoiding interaction with a large number of others who you don’t know and who cannot be easily contact-traced is the key consideration (for both your service and the other group).

We would encourage you to discuss this all those involved in your excursion.