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DOC huts and campsites still closed under alert level 3

Hugo Cameron
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Visitors will be able to walk public tracks from today but they'll have to find somewhere else to sleep.

Kiwis will be able to take local tramps but all DOC facilities (including campsites, huts, visitor centres and toilets) will keep their doors shut, said DOC Deputy Director-General Operations Mike Slater.

“We’re still encouraging New Zealanders to spend time in nature, but at Alert Level 3 there will be limitations," Slater said.

"Any outdoor activities should remain local, be limited to shorter local tracks around three hours, and visitors need to maintain two-metre physical distancing," he said.

DOC also said people should not do activities that put them at risk - hunting and motorised activities would still be banned on public land.

“People should continue to avoid activities that expose them to danger or may require search and rescue services," said Slater.

Slater said most DOC staff would continue work from home but some hands-on work would resume.

“We’ve ordered appropriate PPE for our people, and the correct use of that will be absolutely paramount for any DOC staff permitted to do field work,” he said.

The department said field work would be carried out in teams of two, unless authorised, and teams’ travel would be restricted and monitored.