Kaitaia Business Association chair, Andrea Panther. Photo / Myjanne Jensen.
The Far North business community is ready for action should the level 4 lockdown be extended.
Kaitaia Business Association chairwoman Andrea Panther said people were calm, but were prepared should things become more serious.
"The Prime Minister has done the right thing by shutting down hard and fast and we've learned from other countries how that can be effective in containing the virus," Panther said.
"I do always feel for the businesses, though, because they're losing income and still have to pay staff, but we do need to put health before anything else.
"I was at the Kaitaia Business and Professional Women's meeting Tuesday night when the news broke and it was so comforting to see the women around me all ready to take action to support their community.
"One woman was straight on the phone to the local food bank to ensure they had sufficient supplies, another one was a police woman who knew that domestic violence would likely spike as a result, so was putting things into place to prepare for that.
"It was just awesome to be in a room full of women who already had systems in place and were ready to support everyone in their community."
Panther said she hadn't received specific feedback from business across the Far North, but she knew from the experience of the last lockdown that security was still a big concern for many people.
"They'll be worried about their gear being stolen like last time," Panther said.
"People are already stressed enough and don't want to worry about theft on top of that, so there will no doubt be staff going out to lock gates and ensure their property is put away."
Another concern was potential government financial assistance should an extension of the lockdown be announced.
Panther said many people had relied heavily on the Wage Subsidy Scheme to get them through last year's lockdown and hoped similar measures would be brought back in if necessary.
"Up here in the Far North we do feel rather blessed to be sheltered from what is happening in Auckland and there probably is a sense that this will only be a three-day lockdown," she said.
"The worry is, though, should this go on for longer than three days, will businesses be supported like they were last time?
"It's just a waiting game for now and hopefully the Government has planned financially for this to happen.
"Until then everyone will be on the edge of their seat and if the lockdown does get extended, then I'm sure that's when businesses will start to feel a bit nervous."
Rules for business at Alert Level 4
Workplaces can only open if:
They are an alert level 4 business or service, as defined and listed in schedule 2 of the Covid-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order (No 9) 2021 (Order), or they are exempt from the Order and they are operating safely, in accordance with the requirements set out in the Order.
Operating safely includes fulfilling all other health and safety obligations.
If an alert level 4 service cannot operate safely, workers must not go to work and premises should remain closed.
All freight can be distributed and received with essential freight prioritised.
Additionally, businesses that are able to operate are encouraged to put in place other measures, consistent with health and safety obligations, to prevent their activities contributing to the spread of Covid-19. For example, businesses that can operate are encouraged to have employees work from home wherever this is possible to provide the relevant business or service.
Unite against Covid-19 has further information on safely doing business at alert level 4.
For more information go to covid19.govt.nz
To stop the spread of Covid-19, it's important to be able to quickly identify and find the people who have come into close contact with someone who has the virus.
NZ Covid Tracer QR code posters are required, but alternative contact tracing registers are encouraged for businesses that operate premises where people come into close contact with each other such as food and drink businesses, or hairdressers.