Te Araroa News

Te Araroa: COVID 19 (coronavirus) information update 2 - 20 March 2020

 

The trail remains open but is not currently an option for international walkers due to the temporary closure of New Zealand’s borders to non-New Zealand citizens and permanent residents on 19 March. This closure has been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
 
Any New Zealanders arriving back in the country or international visitors who have arrived recently must not begin their Te Araroa journey until they have completed the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period required by the New Zealand Government. 
 
It is important that these rules are followed, and that any required self-isolation takes place outside of public spaces. Under no circumstances should Te Araroa trail be considered a location for COVID-19 self-isolation.
 
A significant portion of the trail passes over Department of Conservation (DOC) land, utilising DOC huts, lodges and campsites as accommodation options. These remain open but should not be used as locations for self-isolation for any New Zealanders returning home or anybody who is feeling unwell or has been exposed to a COVID-19 case.
 
I’m pleased to see that DOC is offering refunds on hut and campsite bookings for any cancellations related to COVID-19. More information about these refunds can be found on the DOC website or by contacting the Department directly.
 
Walkers staying in commercial or private accommodation along the trail route should take extra care to exercise good hygiene, including washing hands regularly. It is a good idea to carry hand sanitiser in your pack, for situations where soap and running water are not easily accessible.
 
It should go without saying that any walkers should avoid stepping foot on the trail if they are feeling unwell. 
 
The trail continues to be a viable recreation option for New Zealanders seeking opportunities for outdoor recreation. Walking the trail is a great tonic for the stresses of modern life and we encourage its continued enjoyment. 
 
While international walkers will be unable to enjoy the trail at this time, New Zealanders can continue walking trail sections, so long as they are in good health, sensible and adhere to Ministry of Health advice. 
 
We will continue to monitor the situation and issue further updates as the situation changes.
 
Key points:
 
Good hygiene and practicing physical distancing are two of the most effective things you can do to protect yourself from COVID-19. It’s a good idea to carry hand sanitiser in your pack, in case you do not have access to soap and water during your walk.
• Te Araroa is not currently an option for international walkers due to the closure of New Zealand’s borders (those already on the trail are of course very welcome to finish it!) 
 
• If you have been in contact with a known case of COVID-19, self-isolate for 14 days and do not embark on the trail (DOC huts, lodges and campsites are not appropriate locations for self-isolation).
 
• Do not embark on a Te Araroa trail walk if you are unwell
 
• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and dry 
thoroughly. Where this is not possible, use hand sanitiser (it is a good idea to carry some with you).
 
• If you have been overseas within the last 14 days and develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453
 
For the latest information, visit the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 web page.
 
We have also set up a dedicated page on our Te Araroa website. 
 
Kind regards,
Mark Weatherall
Chief Executive, Te Araroa Trust
 
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