Police are urging New Zealanders to stay safe by staying home this Easter. Police will be ramping up visibility in communities and on the roads including operating checkpoints over the Easter period, making sure people are safe and complying with the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions. We know many New Zealanders may have been planning to catch up with friends and family this weekend, or travel to traditional holiday destinations but we urge anyone who was planning to do this – please change your plans and stay home. To help ensure people know about the Health Act restrictions, Police will be out and about checking that people are travelling for essential purposes only. Officers will be visible in our communities and on the roads, including around popular holiday spots, and on the arterial roads to them, to make sure people are aware of the requirement that everyone in New Zealand need to stay at their current place of residence while the Level 4 restrictions are in place. Police will also be deploying checkpoints at a number of locations, in collaboration with local authorities and Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups. Our primary focus will be on reminding people if you don’t have to travel, then please don’t. It’s simple - travelling to and from different towns and cities risks spreading COVID-19, and puts lives at risk. Travelling to the bach for a holiday is not essential travel and it is not permitted. Police’s first step will be to educate, but if people continue to break the rules, Police will use their discretion to warn people, or if necessary, they could be arrested. All playgrounds and dog parks in Waimakariri have been closed to limit transmission of COVID-19 to keep the community safe. Playgrounds have been taped off and gates locked where possible, but this is not always practical. The Council urges people to use common sense and avoid any areas where there is a risk of contamination from surfaces. Dog parks pose a risk, both because of high-touch surfaces such as gates and water fountains, as well as the high chance of dogs from different ‘bubbles’ mixing together. Its also important when out walking in your local area with your dog, that they are kept on a leash at all times and away from other dogs. And remember to pick up after them! Those who have concerns about people gathering or not self-isolating can report it to Police on an online form. More information about staying at home, essential travel and physical distancing can be found on the official COVID-19 website . We’re asking everyone to play their part this Easter, stick to the rules and stay home within their bubble – and keep themselves and their communities safe.