Business owners say the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak in parts of the Waikato will be felt in the Bay of Plenty.
They say the region has felt the flow-on effects of the Auckland lockdown and alert level changes in the Waikato were expected to add to that impact, albeit on a lower scale.
One person in Raglan and another in Hamilton East tested positive for the Delta strain of Covid-19 over the weekend. Three household contacts of the Raglan case have since tested positive.
Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Ngaruawāhia, Hamilton city and Huntly were subsequently moved to alert level 3 at 11.59pm on Sunday.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern explained the main reason those locations moved to level 3 was due to their low vaccination levels.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said businesses were hopeful that the cases in the Waikato will be contained.
However, he was concerned about vaccination rates in the Bay of Plenty.
"It's very likely that the Bay would also risk lockdowns if cases spread here while our vaccination levels are below the Government's high expectations.
"The economic impact if we went into level 3 restrictions far outweighs the local impact of some parts of the Waikato region that are currently in locked down."
Cowley said businesses owners and leaders were taking comfort in Ardern's statements about recent case numbers predominantly being unvaccinated people.
"As more people become double jabbed, people are wanting to get their normal lives back faster.
"Businesses with high-vaccinated workforces have growing frustrations as to why the country is being held back by unvaccinated people."
Hospitality NZ accommodation sector Bay of Plenty chairman Tony Bullot said bookings had been cancelled following the level 3 announcement in the Waikato.
However, the 850 Cameron Motel owner said the landscape had not changed much considering the impact of the Auckland lockdown.
"Most people are suffering quite dramatically from Auckland's lockdown," he said.
"We had a couple of cancellations but it hasn't changed a hell of a lot, considering we're still feeling the impact of the Auckland lockdown."
Hospitality NZ Rotorua president Reg Hennessy said the industry was stuck in limbo.
"Hospitality, restaurants and small business everywhere are getting very close to being on their knees. This is just another big nail in the coffin," he said.
"A lot of guys are at the stage of no return, particularly in Auckland, but that will have a domino effect.
"People who have been in the industry for a long time are breaking down in meetings and talking about the state of their health. It's not good out there."
Rotorua Moteliers Association chairman and Arista of Rotorua motel owner Mike Gallagher said local businesses would be starved of a much-needed school holiday cash injection.
"Many [people] were relying on that little school holidays cash injection to crawl through to Christmas and make some good dollars," he said.
The alert level changes in the Waikato had made things worse.
"It's going to be a very challenging next three or four months."
Rotorua Treewalk director Bruce Thomasen said getting at least 90 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated by summer was critical.
He said business operators should have expected to be down about half of their usual school holiday turnover with Auckland at level 3 and out of action.
"The Waikato probably would be 10 to 15 per cent of the volume, maybe even up to 20 per cent over the holidays," Thomasen said.
"The Waikato lockdowns will absolutely have an impact.
"The lockdown strategy appears to not be bulletproof. The strategy must now be vaccinating, and vaccinate as fast as you can."
Port of Tauranga spokeswoman Rochelle Lockley said there would be no impact on their operations because it was an essential service.
Bay of Plenty District Health Board Covid-19 incident controller Trevor Richardson said the Waikato cases did not affect their approach.
"We are constantly monitoring what's happening in other parts of the country, and are in contact with our colleagues in Auckland and Waikato," he said.
"We continue to be on stand-by in case there is a local impact."
Richardson asked people who visited a location of interest or those who had Covid-19 symptoms to contact Healthline and get a test.
Following Monday's Cabinet meeting, Ardern said alert level 2 would remain for the rest of the country despite the emergence of the Waikato cases.
However, some settings would be eased with the 100-person capacity for hospitality venues abolished but customers would still need to be seated and distanced.
On Monday afternoon, it was revealed there were 29 new community cases — one of whom was one of the Waikato pair and the remaining 28 were all from Auckland.
The three household contacts of the Raglan case that tested positive will only be officially recorded in Tuesday's case numbers.