The return of level 2 Covid restrictions has forced a wave of event cancellations around Northland including an annual highlight for the region's young entrepreneurs.
Sixty teams from 21 schools around the North were to have competed in the Young Enterprise Scheme Trade Fair at Kerikeri's Old Packhouse Market on Saturday.
The event is a chance for student businesses to showcase their wares to the public, ring up some sales and gain a lead in the year-long competition. However, with gatherings limited to 100 people at least until midnight Friday, co-ordinator Gary Larkan said he had no choice but to postpone the event.
''I'm absolutely not happy about it, but we don't have a choice. It's a huge shame. They [the students] have put so much work into it.''
Covid has also thrown a spanner in the works of the election campaign with the Duke of Marlborough in Russell forced to cancel a candidates' meeting on Friday evening.
More than 200 people plus Act, the Greens, Labour, National, NZ First and independent candidates had been expected. Northland MP Matt King has also canned a public meeting at Kerikeri's Turner Centre and a sold-out National Party luncheon on Friday.
When it comes to show business, however, they say the show must go on — so the Moscow Circus in Whangārei is striving to keep performing under alert level 2.
Weber Brothers Circus office manager Nicole Webb said they were trying to organise a new show conforming with level 2 restrictions including a crowd size of no more than 100, far fewer than the big top normally holds.
''At the moment we're contacting ticket all holders and the show will go on, we're just not sure at this stage exactly how.'' It was due to finish in Whangārei on August 16 before heading to Kaikohe, Kerikeri and Kaitaia.
Other cancellations include a concert by the Lucien Johnson Quartet at the Turner Centre on Friday evening. A new date has yet to be set.
Rest homes across Northland are in full lockdown until midnight on Friday. New Zealand Aged Care Association Chief Executive Simon Wallace said rest homes are not taking any chances.
The restrictions are a double blow for Kerikeri Retirement Village, which also had to postpone an event scheduled for yesterday to formally open the village's new apartment block.
The return to level 2 has also had an impact on local sport with some codes postponing this weekend's games.
The Whangārei Netball Centre decided to postpone 180 games set to be played from today to Monday. About 300 games last night and tonight had been postponed across local basketball competitions in Kaitaia, Waipapa, Kaikohe, Whangārei, Kaiwaka and Dargaville.
Northland Cricket general manager Stephen Cunis confirmed all junior and senior winter cricket training this week had been cancelled, and all indoor cricket games postponed.
All Northland Secondary School Sports Association events scheduled for the rest of the week had been cancelled.
For senior rugby, this weekend's south zone finals had been postponed until the following weekend as Tomarata couldn't travel to Mid Western. The fates of the north zone, premier and premier reserve fixtures were yet to be decided.
Senior rugby league would be played this weekend while junior competitions would not be played.
All hockey would go ahead with the addition of multiple measures to account for the restrictions.
A decision would be made on what, if any, football games would be played this weekend by the end of today.