DOC facilities to reopen at alert level 2
DOC facilities will reopen for public use when the country moves to alert level 2 on Thursday.
"This is a very positive development and will come as a relief to the thousands of New Zealanders who have wanted to get into the great outdoors," says DOC's director of heritage and visitors Steve Taylor.
But under Alert Level 2 restrictions it's not quite business as usual.
To maintain the government's guidelines for gatherings, bookable accommodation is capped to 10 people and there should be no more than 10 people at any of the larger non-bookable huts.
"At all huts appropriate physical distancing is required – people should bring a tent to be certain.
"It's important under Alert Level 2 that visitors take responsibility for their own health and hygiene. We all need to look out for each other to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
DOC will undertake normal checks of facilities, which include some cleaning, but they are asking visitors to be prepared to clean surfaces before they use them.
Visitors will need to carry their own cleaning equipment in and out of the area they visit and are also responsible for being able to trace their own contacts during their visit.
DOC's bookable accommodation system will be open from 10am Thursday.
Hunting is also able to resume on public conservation land. Recreational hunters will be able to apply online for a hunting permit from 5pm tonight.
Concessionaires and community groups are welcomed back to public conservation land provided they can operate safely and follow Ministry of Health guidelines.
Tourism concessionaires need an updated WorkSafe plan to respond to COVID-19. Community groups will also need to update their health and safety plans.