24 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: Your lockdown questions answered

From Morning Report, 8:37 am on 24 March 2020

We've had a number of audience members text and email in asking for clarification on what classifies as an essential service.

Will you be able to get a warrant of fitness for your car - will mechanics be open to service your vehicle?

Yes, Any entity providing services to keep vehicles operational for essential work purposes like vehicle testing, mechanics and tyre services will remain open for business.

How about recycling? Is it going to be collected still?

Most councils have advisories on their websites about which services they're still taking. All are still collecting rubbish but some aren't collecting recycling - where a council is not taking away recyclables the advice is to stockpile your cans, plastic and cardboard as this kind of waste doesn't go off or start to smell like general waste.

What about ferries?

During the lockdown the Bluebridge ferry won't be open to passengers - only to freight. Last passenger sailing will leave Wellington at 1.30pm and Picton on 7pm on Wednesday 25 March.

Bluebridge confirmed that their crossings through until that time are fully booked.

The interislander advise they will do the same but no word yet on their final passenger sailing.

Hardware stores?

It's Radio New Zealand's understanding that Bunnings warehouse is seeking to be classed as an essential service during the lockdown period and remain open.

We're still waiting on confirmation on this from Bunnings.

Will specialist food stores like bakeries and butchers remain open?

There's been a lot of confusion about whether dairies will be able to remain open. A spokesperson from the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council said they were not covered by the organisation.

RNZ is seeking clarification from the Government on whether dairies will be allowed to remain open.

What about firewood?

We've had a lot of queries about access to firewood. RNZ has made enquiries with firewood suppliers - most have advisories about how they're handling the lockdown on their website and suggest people in all regions.