COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT: 4 October 2021
Kia ora SAE whānau,
Today, Cabinet met to review Alert Levels and decided that Auckland will remain in Alert Level 3, but restrictions will now gradually be eased. A 3-step plan was announced that will help Auckland transition out of lockdown over coming weeks.
Step one, which will take effect from midnight Tuesday 5 Oct, allows 2 households to socialise outdoors, up to a maximum of 10 people. Early childhood education will open and people can travel around the region for recreational purposes.
Step two allows retail to open, as well as public facilities such as pools, zoos and museums. The number of people who can meet will increase to 25.
Step three extends to hospitality and some close contact businesses such as hairdressers will be able to open. Gatherings will then be extended to 50.
At the end of this 3-step phased approach, New Zealand will move to a national framework that reflects a more highly vaccinated population.
To be clear, throughout each of these 3 steps, Auckland remains at Alert Level 3 and we must continue to maintain social distancing, mask wearing and contract tracing at all times. The dates upon which Auckland will move to Step 2 or Step 3 will be determined in due course.
The most significant announcement for SAE was that, at this stage, schools are set to re-open on 18 October. This is a tentative date and a final decision will be made closer to the time.
So, for the time being, all our classes continue online, and our SAE campus remains largely closed with the exception of our SAE Studios. Students are able to access our studios, or pick up equipment, as per our Alert Level 3 Studio Protocols. A reminder that if you do wish to visit campus, you must email Head Studio Supervisor Alex Ferrier first to book in a time and undergo a pre-screening clearance check.
I’m aware that this lockdown is now impacting much of our Trimester 3 and I’m sure you’ll be as keen as I am to return to campus. Hopefully it is just another couple of weeks now until we can start bringing classes back to SAE. In the meantime, please be assured that our staff are doing a truly remarkable job and are well capable of delivering our courses online. Where needed, we can put extensions in place to allow you sufficient time on campus, once that is possible, to complete your assessments. And a reminder too that, whatever happens, we will allow you access to our facilities beyond the end of teaching until the Christmas break.
My final key message is the importance of getting vaccinated. Once our campus fully re-opens, the more vaccinated staff and students we have, the safer our SAE community will be. Remember too to check the locations of interest regularly and seek a COVID test if you are feeling unwell or have visited a location of interest.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Kia kaha – stay strong. Together we can get through this. Together we are getting through this.