Last week, residents of Carlaw Park Student Village were advised that common areas would be closed at the direction of the government. Common areas, such as study spaces, a games room, a music room and a communal kitchen, were previously open during the first four weeks of the nationwide alert level 4 lockdown.
In an email to residents, Carlaw Park Resident Manager Sylvia Wheeldon expressed that she “understand[s] this must be a frustrating development for many of you, especially as we have had use of these rooms for the past few weeks at level-4. We must follow all directives as provided by the Government which are in place to keep us all safe.”
Residents will still have access to communal laundry facilities and printing machines, however they must use sign in sheets while accessing certain areas and follow physical distancing protocols.
Throughout the level 4 lockdown, up to 10 residents at a time have been able to access common areas. On the 25th of March, an email sent to all residents advised that “if you have friends that live at Carlaw Park you cannot visit them in their flats and they cannot visit you in your flat. Common areas can be utilised for these kind of meet ups, you must adhere to the social distancing rules”. Effectively, residents have been able to socialise in common areas if they remain two metres apart.
According to the accommodation team and a university spokesperson, each apartment within Carlaw Park Student Village is considered a ‘bubble’ – a group of individuals that are limited to only have contact with others within that group.
A university spokesperson confirmed to Craccum that accomodation has followed all government advice throughout the lockdown, however “we had a few instances of students breaking their bubble in Carlaw Park Student Village and not respecting the required physical distancing requirements. We have now fully closed any use of scheduled shared spaces in light of these violations to protect the community.”
The new restrictions will remain in place until we enter alert level 2. Last Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand would enter alert level 3 at 11:59pm on Monday the 27th of April. The nation will remain at level 3 for at least two weeks, and then a review will take place.