33 days ago

Concern Aucklanders are breaking rules on first level 3 weekend

Brian from New Lynn

More than 30 people have been seen playing touch rugby in an Auckland park, while crowds, some unmasked, have also been seen in other parts of the city - including the city's most high-profile shopping street and a popular beachside suburb - on the first weekend since the Covid-19 alert level was lowered. Under level 3 contactless retail, including takeaways, are able to open but people are still expected not to mix with people outside their household bubble. A sunny Saturday proved too tempting for some though, including 32 people spotted playing touch rugby on Margaret Griffin Reserve in Mt Roskill late this morning. A witness told the Herald she called 111 three times to report the rule breach, with two police officers arriving on the scene about half an hour later. No one was arrested and everyone dispersed about five minutes later, the witness said. "I was shaking ... I was so angry. I know people who are losing their businesses [because of lockdowns]. "How are people misunderstanding [level 3 rules], or is it that people know but don't care?" The police officers told her they could, at this stage, educate, not arrest those involved. A police spokeswoman said they didn't have anyone available to speak about level 3 compliance in Auckland today. The media team were not aware of any specific breaches of level 3 in Auckland this weekend, she said. Meanwhile, there were also reports of crowds on one of Auckland's most popular shopping streets - even though only contactless retail is allowed under level 3. "Ponsonby Rd is absolutely heaving with people", a woman told the Herald just after noon. "I even saw the Footlocker [store] letting people try on shoes outside the shop."
And at Takapuna Beach Cafe there was "very few masks or social distancing" as people waited for coffee and ice cream, a man told.
Similar scenes were reported at Mission Bay. "Thought you guys might be interested in how busy Mission Bay beach is today", a person said in an email. "Can't find a car park to save your life, and there's not much mask-wearing going on."
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