The Road Transport Forum met with government officials this morning to do some pre-planning for any possible change in Covid-19 alert levels in Wellington and the rest of the country.

It is a positive move to be involved in the pre-planning stage and to be able to share the potential issues for efficient movement of freight in the event of any hard borders being set up around Wellington.

We have raised issues that occurred when Auckland went to Level 3 including:

• Long queues impacting perishable goods, urgent medical supplies, and live animals

• Worktime hours for drivers stuck in long queues both to get to work and when in their trucks

• Documents for truck drivers to cross borders

We have also raised the issue of closing down Wellington impacting North-South Island two-way freight movements. We have asked if inter-island ferry timetables will be amended, but officials do not know this yet. They are however, aware that freight would need to flow to meet ferry timetables.

This Advisory is to let you know we are in the pre-planning stages but that there is currently no reason to believe there will be an alert level change.

However, these alert level changes can happen quite quickly, so some things you can do to be prepared include:

• Be aware of the boundaries that are included in Alert Level 2 for Wellington as these will be maintained if the alert level goes up.

• Be aware that if the alert level goes up for Wellington, in order to travel across the boundary, you will need to have proof that you either fit into a permitted activity or have a specific exemption to travel. Moving freight is a permitted activity, but you will still need to ensure drivers have the right paperwork to get through the boundaries, manned by Police, as fast as possible. We will update you on the paperwork requirements if the alert level changes, but the recommendation is that you do a Business Travel registration.

The registration process is only activated in the event of a region entering Alert Level 3, so you cannot register in advance.

• Be aware that officials, including the Police, are assessing the best parts of the
road to set up road blocks to ensure freight can move through. They also have to consider safety of their workers at the road blocks, and the ability to turn around vehicles that are not authorised to go through the road block.

• Regarding animal welfare, the Ministry for Primary Industries has dedicated website pages for Covid-19 information and advice:

MPI Covid-19 information and advice website
COVID-19 (coronavirus) information and advice | MPI | NZ Government

COVID-19 and animal welfare
Information about caring for pets and livestock during the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 and animal welfare | MPI | NZ Government

The RTF will continue to update you as we are advised by government of changes and things you need to know. We will put up-to-date information on our dedicated Covid-19 webpage