The Bay of Plenty business community has breathed a sigh of relief as the region is now back at alert level 1 and they are determined to remain positive.
Yesterday Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said Auckland would move to alert level 2 at midnight despite two new community cases of Covid-19. The rest of the country went to level 1. The latest restrictions will be reviewed on Monday.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce board president Kiri Tahana said the alert level changes were pleasing and reassuring.
It appeared that community transmission outbreak was being contained, Tahana said.
"It's a reminder for all of us that we are in a world-wide pandemic and therefore we have to be resilient to deal with all the uncertainty that arises from it. I'm confident New Zealand can do that as shown by the response last year ... We need to be positive and confident about the outcomes, and do the right things."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley welcomed the move to level 1 and said it was a good decision by the government.
''This allows government officials to target their focus on the close contacts who need to continue to be in isolation until they have tested negative.''
But he said ''we need to be cautious with Auckland remaining in alert level 2, as Tauranga and Rotorua needs a strong Auckland economy as we rely on those customers and tourists for our own prosperity."
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt agreed and said if alert level 2 had been extended he believed the impact from a whole Western Bay of Plenty economy point of view would be "negligible".
Tutt also said he did not expect the last few days to knock the confidence of businesses.
''I think many were expecting some alert level changes during the first half of this year."
Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne said tourism was a people-focussed industry and relied on potential visitors' ability to travel.
The change in alert levels significantly impacts tourism businesses' patronage and operations.
''We hope that the government's swift action will contain the outbreak so that domestic tourism, including for Auckland travellers, can safely resume once again.
"As I'm sure all New Zealanders do, we support the countrywide effort to stamp out the virus to save lives and enable our economy to rebuild faster. "
Hospitality New Zealand Bay of Plenty branch president Reg Hennessy, who also owns Hennessy's Irish Bar in Rotorua, said he and his organisation were "pleased" because there were lots of major events coming up, like the America's Cup and others across the region.
"But I don't think many businesses can cope with having to go in and out of lockdown so quickly, it's so disruptive and takes about a week to adjust."
Hennessy said it was hard to recoup the resulting losses and cancellations, and meant many people had to put their lives on hold. He also said he thought the Government needed to have taken "a breath" before putting the rest of country into alert level 2.
Arden said yesterday "I will never be comfortable with Covid-19. There is an indescribable anxiety which comes with the daily grind of managing a pandemic and I think we all feel it. But you do learn things - you undoubtedly learn things."
"We make the best decisions we can with the information we've got and with the best advice that I can imagine happen. So the decision we've made today still has a level of caution in it and that gives me a level of comfort."
One of the three cases confirmed yesterday afternoon was a close contact of case A – the daughter who was confirmed Covid-19 positive with her father and mother on Sunday.
They went to Papatoetoe High School together.
The second new confirmed case was a sibling of the first. Another family member of the two Papatoetoe High School pupils also tested positive. They are currently all isolating at home.
Meanwhile, director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said it was "reassuring" all the new cases were linked and were identified through contact tracing.
Level 1 rules
* At level 1 the disease is contained in NZ and there are no restrictions on movements and gatherings.
* Border entry measures - including managed isolation and quarantine - are in place to minimise the risk of importing Covid-19 cases.
* People should stay home if they feel sick and get a Covid-19 test.
* Face coverings are also legally required on domestic flights throughout New Zealand.
* QR codes issued by the Government legally must be displayed in workplaces and on public transport to enable use of the NZ Covid Tracer app for contact tracing, which people are encouraged to use.