Traffic on the Tauranga Harbour Bridge was at a standstill this morning because of a Covid-19 police checkpoint.

An officer wearing a mask is checking drivers on Hewletts Rd about why they are out and about.

Facebook was abuzz with chatter as people grappled with the idea that traffic could be gridlocked in the lockdown.

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One person commented: "Let's hope it's a checkpoint. Papamoa needs some too ... way too many people out and about." Others defended essential workers who needed to be out on the road.

Someone said: "15th Ave needs a checkpoint. Still as busy as always!" and another said "My hubby is an essential worker and has to carry and display permits. How are these people freely cruising around?".

Many praised the police for being proactive.

The checkpoint in place at Tauranga Harbour Bridge, and others throughout the local area, enabled police to speak to motorists in relation to the current restrictions, a police spokesman said.

"If people are out in the community, police may ask them some questions to check they are okay, and what support they might need."

The race is on to find a vaccine for COVID-19.

He said they could provide advice on self-isolation and ensure people were complying with the current restrictions, and if they were not, police would advise them how best to do that.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website