Life under Covid-19 lockdown was never going to be a picnic.

However, some Oamaru residents have decided the time is right to do just that — enjoy a picnic at the Oamaru Public Gardens — to the dismay of Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher.

He confirmed the council had received several reports over the past few days of people gathering around picnic tables for outdoor meals at the gardens, which he said posed a significant public health risk.

“They are not supposed to be doing that. It’s a particular concern people are using picnic tables for the same reason we have got the use of playground equipment banned.”

Equipment at the gardens was recently taped off to counter the risk of infection and as a result of the most recent reports, that had now extended to picnic tables.

The restrictions were in effect in parks and reserves throughout the Waitaki district, which Mr Kircher hoped would be respected by the public.

“It is very easy for people to pick up the Covid-19 virus off a picnic table surface …

“It’s a totally unnecessary risk and something we will try to reinforce with the public, to stay at home and save lives.”

Waitaki was yet to have a confirmed case of the virus, the only area within the Southern District Health Board area Covid-19 had not struck.

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