The most common question we are getting asked is "Will we be able to paddle if COVID-19 alert levels move from Level 1?". The answer to this is yes! We have outlined the 4 COVID-19 Alert Levels below, detailing what Dragon Boating in Wellington will look like at each level:
Alert Level 3/4: Trainings and the Festival will be rescheduled to a future date under Alert Levels 1 or 2. No Dragon Boating will occur under Alert Levels 3 and/or 4.
Like the flu, COVID-19 is spread from person to person by droplets of saliva. When an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, they may generate droplets containing the virus. These droplets settle on surrounding surfaces. People may get infected by the virus if they touch those surface or objects, and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes.
That is why good hygiene practices, and regular cleaning are critical to controlling the spread of COVID-19. The Dragon Boat Festival has a plan to ensure good hygiene, cleaning equipment and shared facilities, to ensure the virus cannot be spread in our facility, at our trainings, or at our events. We will ensure we are protecting paddlers, and are minimising the risk of spread of infection of COVID-19. We will comply with the relevant Health and Safety requirements for COVID-19. This information can be found here. We will meet all Public Health Notices and guidelines. These include the following, although they may change over time:
- Regular disinfecting of surfaces and equipment, especially Life-Jackets, Paddles, Sweep Oars and Dragon Boats.
- Encouraging good hand hygiene by allowing frequent hand washing with soap and water before thoroughly drying them.
- Not having unwell people at Dragon Boating.
- Meeting physical distancing requirements.
Hand washing is the Dragon Boat Festival's preferred option for good hand hygiene. However, hand sanitiser (containing at least 60% alcohol) will be provided as an acceptable alternative, if there are not sufficient hand washing facilities on the waterfront.
The Dragon Boat Festival will communicate handwashing guidance to all paddlers, crew and visitors. The key message is that people need to wash their hands with soap and water and thoroughly dry them before and after paddling.
We will put up signs in shared facilities to remind people to wash their hands.
We will make sure bathrooms are always stocked with soap and paper towels.
We will provide hand sanitiser (containing at least 60% alcohol).
Other ways to keep our hands clean and prevent germs spreading include:
Encourage alternative greeting or end of paddling traditions (instead of hi-fives).
Where possible keep your entrance and exit doors to the Dragon Boat shed open.
Participants must also bring their own clean towel to dry off any sweat while being active.
Spitting is an unhygienic practice and an offence under sections 3 & 4 of the Summary Offences Act 1981. We will ensure that paddlers do not spit on any surface or out of the Dragon Boats into the water.
Contact Tracing will occur at Dragon Boating using both the NZ COVID Tracer App and an option to sign in for paddlers who do not have the App. The Dragon Boat Festival will ensure that we keep an accurate record of paddlers/guest register (including Crew and Sweeps) that are participating in Dragon Boating. This allows for the Ministry of Health to undertake contact tracing if necessary.
Water is important to drink while Dragon Boating to ensure paddlers are properly hydrated. Paddlers should also use their own clearly labelled water bottles which should be thoroughly cleaned before and after each use.
Equipment sanitisation and safety is a priority for the Dragon Boat Festival. Paddlers must bring their own personal equipment (towels, water bottles, etc) and ideally a personal paddle if owned. We will implement sanitising practices suitable for all shared equipment used at Dragon Boating. For example, Life-Jackets, Paddles, Sweep Oars, and Dragon Boats. We will make sure shared equipment is cleaned before and after use with disinfectant, concentrating on points of contact.