Rail services have continued in New Zealand despite the reimposition of lockdown measures to control the spread of new cases of COVID-19.
Auckland is now in level 3 restrictions while the rest of the country is under level 2 restrictions after cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Tuesday, August 11 with no known source of transmission.
In Auckland, rail services are continuing during the lockdown to their existing timetable for those who need to access local services and businesses and travel to work and school when that cannot be done at home. Physical distancing of two metres must be maintained on public transport.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff advised commuters to follow health guidelines.
“Maintain physical distancing, wear a mask when in public and follow good hygiene practices and we will get through this together.”
Auckland Transport will be cleaning trains regularly and will be making changes to timetables as needed.
KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller shared Goff’s advice to wear face masks when using public transport.
“The health and safety of our staff, and the public, is the company’s main priority as we maintain essential services, just as we did successfully earlier this year.”
KiwiRail has suspended the TranzAlpine service that was to run over the weekend of August 15-16. The Capital Connection service between Wellington and Palmerston North will run as normal.
Freight services will continue with appropriate precautions instituted.
In Wellington, which is under level 2 restrictions, public transport is also continuing as normal.
General manager of Wellington transport operator Metlink Scott Gallacher emphasised the need for passengers to take care when travelling.
“We’re asking passengers to keep a 1-metre distance on board trains, buses and ferries and keep a 2-metres distance while waiting at bus stops, train stations and ferry wharfs,” he said.
“The government has made it clear that people should wear face masks where physical distancing is difficult and we encourage passengers to follow this advice on public transport. These measures will help keep passengers safe across the whole network.”
Metlink will accept cash payment, however Auckland Transport is only accepting payments via the AT HOP card.