Nelson City councillor Pete Rainey, Chief medical officer for Nelson Marlborough Health Dr Nick Baker and Nelson City centre development lead Alan Gray showing how to safely distance in the CBD. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Locals asked to ‘walk the chalk’

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As Nelsonians return to the city centre, they are being asked to follow the chalk arrows to encourage safe social distancing.

Councillor Pete Rainey says Nelson’s newly reopened businesses need community support.

He says it is still important that locals follow the Government’s 2-metre physical distancing guidelines.

However, with our central city footpaths being 3 metres wide, keeping left, where practical, will help pedestrians maintain a safe distance from each other.

“Simple things like keeping left on the footpath and where that’s not possible, waiting for the space on the right-hand side to clear before proceeding, are easy, commonsense steps we can all take to help each other as we all find our way again after the Covid-19 shutdown.”

To help, a small number of chalk arrows have been stencilled on the footpaths of Trafalgar, Bridge and Hardy Streets – areas home to Nelson’s highest amount of foot traffic.

Chief medical officer for Nelson Marlborough Health, Dr Nick Baker, says it is important people continue to practice physical distancing.

“Businesses, restaurants and schools are going to great effort to give people the space they need to stay out of each other’s ‘moist breath zone’, so we need to play our part when out shopping and exercising and enjoying our parks and playgrounds again.”

Nick says as more people return to the streets, it was important they felt safe, particularly the elderly and vulnerable members of our community.

“We cannot contact trace casual contacts from footpaths so it is important to keep spacing to limit the risks. Keeping left can improve flow and safety on footpaths just as it does on the roads.”

He says as we move down the alert levels, people would be coming into contact with more people, in more places.