Aucklanders heading for their bach in Northland have been turned back by police, who have warned anybody trying to get back into the region could be warned, fined or face arrest and charges.
Earlier this week police and Northland's local body leaders had 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.
The warning came after people from coastal communities across Northland contacted the Northern Advocate this week, concerned people were planning to leave their lockdown bubbles to go to their baches for Easter.
• Sign up to our daily Covid-19 newsletter for essential advice and a full summary of the day's news and developments. Register or sign in here and select Top News Stories
Police have a number of roadblocks around the region to prevent this happening.
Yesterday afternoon police turned away a number of people at Uretiti who were hoping to get to their baches in Northland.
Senior Sergeant Steve Dixon said, despite the warning not to leave home this Easter weekend, some thought the rules did not apply to them.
Dixon said locals stopped, who were going about their essential work or for essential trips, were very supportive of the roadblocks.
"The ones we turned back though were a bit annoyed, but the message [not to leave home to go north] has been out there so it should come as no surprise," he said.
Dixon said details of those turned back had been collated and if they tried to come back, more action would be taken.
"Our first plan is pointing out their obligations, and that's how we want to handle this, but [if the person tried to get back into the region] we can issue warnings, or fines. And there is an offence there under the Health Act, so we could arrest and charge."
Dixon said despite he lockdown there were still too many vehicles on the road, and far too many with more than one person in them going on essential trips.
"Only one person should be going on those trips, like to get the shopping, not the whole family," he said.
Among those stopped was a family who had been living in Auckland who wanted to go to the whānau bach in Ahipara. They were told that was not appropriate and sent back.
A couple from the Far North were returning to the region after being in Helensville to check out some livestock they were considering buying.
Dixon said they were issued with a warning: "That is not essential travel."
He said police would be out in force on Northland's roads this weekend and people could expect to be stopped and asked what they were doing here.
Dixon said another factor police wanted motorists who had to travel this weekend to focus on was their speed.
"We don't need people driving at excess speed and putting themselves and others at risk, We don't want anybody having an accident and having to be taken to hospital and putting our health system under extra pressure."
Some Northland coastal communities have implemented their own roadblocks, supported by police, to keep visitors out.
Whananaki North residents had a roadblock up yesterday and were only allowing locals and essential service workers through.
Signs warned that travelling to their bach or holiday home for Easter was a breach of the Covid-19 lockdown rules.
Residents of the coastal community of Pataua South erected a gate a week ago to stop non-locals self-isolating there. It will also stop people getting to their baches there this Easter Weekend.
There is also a roadblock at Waitangi.
The Ngātiwai Trust Board has raised concerns with police about the possibility of an influx of holiday makers and bach owners coming out to the coast over the Easter period.
In normal times the influx into the Ngātiwai coastal rohe is a given at Easter, as the four-day weekend is the last of the "summer holidays". However, in alert level 4, these were no longer normal times, Ngātiwai chairman Haydn Edmonds said.
People are being urged by the rural and coastal communities of Ngātiwai to stay at home this Easter and follow the clear Government directives.
"Te iwi Māori, and particularly those in rural, remote and coastal areas, according to all the statistics on health and housing, are the most likely to be severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic if there was a community outbreak," Edmonds said.
"We have already seen an influx into our communities since the lockdown began, and this not only puts a strain on the whānau households, but we are also seeing that they are cleaning out the local shops, leaving no essentials for our whānau to buy locally."
People will be monitoring the situation and would contact police via the 105 service if there were any breaches.
"We know of whānau that are actively setting up road patrols and monitoring who is coming in and out of their rohe. If they are not local people travelling for essential purposes or an essential worker, whānau have said they will not be letting them travel into our rohe."