Lockdown day one: Teddy hunt keeps spirits high in Winton
Amelia King, 4, and her brother William King, 2, both of Winton, enjoying the two teddy bears in the window of Marlenes Hair Salon, on Main St in Winton. Children throughout New Zealand have been taking part in a teddy bear hunt while out for a walk this week. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern endorsed the social-distancing-friendly idea, and said people in her Wellington neighbourhood may just spot a teddy bear in her window. Residents countrywide have left bears in their windows for children to spot on their walks.
There was an eerie calm around Invercargill as the city settled into its first day of New Zealand’s month-long lockdown.
‘‘It’s more peaceful and quiet,’’ Tane Tamati said while taking a stroll through Queen’s Park with Jason Tamati yesterday afternoon.
Jason Tamati said he’d gotten out of the house to give his lad some space while he was studying online.
He was pleased with how much quieter Invercargill was on Wednesday night already. Brendan Kerr was out for
a cycle and said he was just trying to keep busy. He was finding the lockdown tough because he had two children aged 14 and 9 at home who just wanted to go out.
Kerr said he was surprised by how many people he’d seen in the park and how many cars were on the roads.
Southland area commander Inspector Mike Bowman said police had been stopping cars throughout Southland to make sure people understood what the lockdown meant. There seemed to be a bit of confusion, so police were focusing on education.
‘‘Hopefully people will take the advice we’ve given them and we won’t need to move up a level,’’ he said.
Grocery stores were noticeably emptier than usual yesterday. Allied Security guard Tony McMullien said he’d seen a ‘‘slow but steady’’ stream of people through the doors at Countdown Waikiwi. ‘‘Everyone seems to keep a good distance from each other,’’ he said.
SuperValue Plaza Invercargill assistant manager Gillian Bowie said the store was a lot quieter than during the past few days. ‘‘There wasn’t that panic shopping going on today.’’
The store was making sure customers kept a physical distance and had arranged for perspex screens to be installed at tills. Staff were kept to a minimum, Bowie said.
New World Windsor owner Ashley Hunter said Foodstuffs would also be providing perspex screens, and hoped they would arrive by the end of the week. In the meantime, the store was limiting the number of customers in store by capping trolley numbers at 80. Trolleys would be sanitised after use, Hunter said.
Fuel stations in the city were also quieter, with many taking steps to limit interaction with customers. Waikiwi Motors had placed a big table in front of its counter to keep people at a distance.
At the Z Energy station in Gladstone, staff were serving customers through a small window instead of letting them enter the store.