Police and Northland's local body leaders have a simple message for people hoping to go to their bach in the region this Easter holiday weekend - don't and stay at home instead.
People from coastal communities across Northland have contacted the Northern Advocate this week, concerned that people were planning on leaving their lockdown bubbles to go to their baches for Easter.
Concerns were raised from a number of seaside settlements, including Whananaki, Teal Bay, Matapouri, Ocean Beach, Baylys Beach and Ahipara, that an influx of people could risk their lockdown bubbles and lead to a longer period of lockdown for them and the whole country.
Those concerns are shared by police and Northland's local body leaders.
Northland police district commander Superintendent Tony Hill urged people to stay put and not to travel to any baches or holiday homes this Easter weekend.
Hill said police throughout Northland are continuing their work to ensure people are complying with the Government's alert level 4 restrictions, and will be out this long weekend making sure people are staying home and staying within their bubbles.
Police will also be ensuring that people, either from out of Northland or within, will be not travelling to their holiday homes or other properties, he said.
Hill said the restrictions are clear, and people must reside at the same place for the duration of the time New Zealand is at alert level 4, and everyone needs to stay home in order to break the cycle of transmission.
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"Everyone here in Northland, and throughout the country, has their part to play in order to prevent the spread of this virus," he said.
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"We know some people may have had plans to travel and get away for Easter, but these are unprecedented times and we urge people to do their bit to save lives by staying home."
Hill reiterated that the only travel people should be doing is essential travel, which includes delivering essential services, such as groceries or medication.
Police will be present on Northland roads over Easter ensuring people who are using them, for the allowed reasons only, are doing so safely including within the speed limit.
Police encourage people to please report non-emergency situations online at www.police.govt.nz/105support or call 111 if it's an emergency.
Northland's local body leaders have also issued a plea to would-be holidaymakers not to travel to – or within – Northland for what would have been their traditional Easter break.
The Northland Mayoral Forum, which includes the three mayors John Carter (Far North), Sheryl Mai (Whangārei) and Jason Smith (Kaipara) – and Northland Regional Council equivalent chairwoman Penny Smart, said in a joint statement that people needed to uphold the lockdown rules and stay at home.
''We know there are many people who have a long association with holidaying at baches and holiday homes in Northland, and it will be hard to accept that this Easter they won't get to spend time in them or carry out maintenance on them,'' they said.
''Some have also raised the fact that they pay rates within the region. However, it's been made clear from the outset that people must reside at the same place for the duration of the time New Zealand is at Covid-19 alert level 4 and travelling for Easter doesn't meet the 'stay local' definition.''
They said an influx of further visitors – which had already been evident in a number of locations – would place added demands on health services, supermarkets and drinking water supplies which are still under pressure from the extended drought.
''The fulltime residents in these communities which have seen people arriving since the start of alert level 4 have concerns about all of these aspects. They're also extremely aware of the underlying principle behind staying at home: breaking the chain of transmission,'' the leaders said.
'We know this will come as a sacrifice to many. Easter 2020 needs to be remembered as the time everyone stayed at home to save lives.''