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There has been a major change made to this years Hatuma Half Marathon – with it now being run as a virtual event.

The 2021 Half Marathon was due to run as usual on September 19, however COVID-19 restrictions have prompted organisers to make the change.

Sport Hawke’s Bay Co-ordinator Nicky Heremaia said the current form means the event can only be held under Alert Level One, and with the uncertainty around whether or not we would be at Level One, the committee that runs the event decided to change to a virtual one.

She said major sponsor, Hatuma Lime Company, are allowing the event to be now offered for free.

Nicky said a virtual event offers much more flexibility in the aspect that people can complete the 21.1km distance in their own time and in their own neighbourhood within the specified time frame.

The virtual half marathon will be able to be completed over a 7 day period from the 19th of September.

Nicky said they had had 222 registrations prior to making the change, and they would be contacting people with regards to a refund of the entry fee.

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Visiting restrictions have been eased by both the MidCentral and Hawke’s Bay District Health Boards following the move to COVID Alert Level Three yesterday.

The main changes from Level Four to Level Three affect mainly those in inpatient wards, where one visitor from within someone’s bubble can visit.

Emergency Departments will still maintain a no visitor policy, while no-one under the age of 16 will be allowed.

Details of the Level Three policy is available on the DHB websites.

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Roadworks have restarted under COVID Alert Level Three.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency stood down all non-essential state highway maintenance and project work with the move to Alert Level 4 last month, with only essential maintenance and work to ensure security, safety and environmental protection of sites permitted during the lockdown.

Work has now begun again on projects such as the Te Ahu a Turanga Manawatu-Tararua Highway, and the realignment at Silverstream near Pukehou.

NZTA Regional Manager Infrastructure Delivery Lonnie Dalzell said the agency are working closely with contractors on individual COVID-19 plans for each worksite.

He said the plans include standards and guidelines for pre-planning work, documenting the health and safety of staff, maintaining safe physical distancing, cleaning, and quickly and accurately tracing people if they come into contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19