Raglan businesses acted quickly on Monday, organising delivery services for everything from groceries to pharmaceuticals as the country’s coronavirus crisis moved to Alert Level 3 ahead of going on to Level 4 from 11.59pm Wednesday.
The town’s two supermarkets, SuperValue and Four Square – which as essential services can stay open throughout the four-week nationwide lockdown – were offering home deliveries with payment either by portable eftpos or online.
The moves help avoid any contact with others for the four weeks the town goes into lockdown.
Both stores had earlier put in place a system of free deliveries for seniors, the vulnerable and those self-isolating, with SuperValue also prepared to add extra deliveries every second Tuesday so SuperGold cardholders could still take advantage of its regular five percent discount.
SuperValue was also limiting “essential items” – flour, longlife milks, baked beans and spaghetti, rice and pasta, baby formula, toilet paper, panadol and paracetamol – to two per person.
To help a small Raglan business keep afloat Four Square owner/operator Satnam Bains was offering on Monday to use Raglan Shuttle, which very recently came under new management, for its deliveries.
He said customers could pay the shuttle service direct, part pay what they could afford or pay nothing – leaving Four Square to cover any unmet costs. “We are all working together to keep our community safe.”
Similarly, Whaingaroa Organic Kai will also be providing services as an essential food provider.
The smaller Wainui Foodmarket said it would remain open for as long as supplies could be accessed, though whether it can continue trading during the lockdown was unclear.
The local pharmacy – in what it called the best interests of staff and the Raglan community – was on Monday admitting only one customer at a time to its side counter inside the main doors, and others were waiting on the footpath on painted stars that ensured they were sufficiently apart.
The pharmacy was advising locals to expect delays but was reassuring them they would still get their prescriptions filled and could buy other items.
Customers were also being encouraged to phone or email the pharmacy – an essential service during the lockdown – beforehand so all requested items could be ready for pick-up.
Raglan Medical – in line with primary care medical clinics throughout the country – had moved early this week to phone consults only, and was sending prescriptions directly through to Raglan Pharmacy.
Local fuel stations, which are also classified as essential services, are expected to remain open throughout the lockdown.
Meanwhile local roots reggae band Lost Tribe Aotearoa didn’t let the cancellation of their local gig last Saturday night stop them. With sponsors Raglan Roast behind them, they livestreamed old songs and new from their upcoming album to a “massive response” – proving, they said, that “NZ music can live on through this crisis”.
*Raglan Area School was closed from Tuesday this week, saying it was “implementing with urgency our plan to support your child’s learning from home”.
It said school holidays were starting early from next Monday – March 30 – and the school would be technically open for distance instruction after the break, though teachers would be working off site
**Raglan Surf Lifesaving Club said they would still be patrolling Ngarunui Beach from 11am – 5pm Saturday and 11am-4pm Sunday, however wthey won’t be doing any other activities outside of this due to the current Covid-19 conditions.