Northland's two largest events have become a casualty of Covid alert level changes while those living at or near the border are being forced to change their travel plans for this week.
Auckland moved to alert level 3 and the rest of New Zealand to alert level 2 from 6am on Sunday after a new Covid-19 case was detected — a household contact of a student from Papatoetoe High School who should have been in isolation.
The alert levels will remain in place for the next six days.
Mass gatherings will need to be limited to 100 people. Gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed for wedding services, funerals, and tangihanga.
On the northern boundary, police have set up roadblocks at the intersections of State Highway 1 and Mangawhai Rd (Twin Coast Discovery Highway), and on Mangawhai Rd and north of Coal Hill Rd.
Checkpoints are also in place on Black Swamp, west of Rako Rd, Mangawhai Rd and Cames Rd, and Mangawhai Rd and Ryan Rd.
Schools near the Auckland/Northland border that falls under the Kaipara district will remain open under alert level 2 from Monday.
Northland Field Days, scheduled for Thursday to Saturday this week in Dargaville, has been cancelled and organisers were contacting exhibitors and food vendors on Sunday to inform them about the cancellation.
"This decision was certainly not made lightly and the option of postponing the event was discussed rigorously but we simply can't have exhibitors, suppliers and all the volunteers involved in bringing this event to Northland waiting around to see what happens," event co-ordinator Meagan Walters said.
She said many exhibitors have already set up their sites or were planning to head up from Monday.
"The Northland Field Days has said right from the start of organising our 2021 event, that should we have to cancel for reasons directly related to Covid-19, we would refund all paid site fees 100 per cent and this has not changed.
"Many exhibitors who have had to cancel in the last month or so due to not being able to get stock in for the event, have chosen to leave their site fees with us as a credit towards the 2022 event to retain their site and this will also be an option offered to our exhibitors and food vendors over the next few days."
Walter said it was not only the exhibitors and food vendors who would be affected by the cancellation, but also a number of community groups who were enlisted to help out for their fundraising purposes, and Northland's business community.
Also cancelled is the Mangonui Waterfront Festival that attracts about 100 stallholders and between 4500 and 5000 people each year.
The event was planned for this Saturday.
Kitchen designer Talet Beukes lives in Te Hana, 120m south of the roadblock, is one of those affected as her business is located in central Whangārei.
She's been forced to stay with friends just north of Kaiwaka for the during of alert level 3 in Auckland to enable her to travel to and from work.
"I tried to apply for a travel exemption but unfortunately, my business is not classified as essential. But my business is only a year old and I can't afford not to have it open," she said.
NorthChamber chief executive Stephen Smith said travel restrictions would put pressure on businesses in Northland.
His biggest worry was the interruption to supply chain in Northland as already a lot of retail stuff was unavailable due to alert level changes and delays in clearing containers at Ports of Auckland.
"The systems and protocols are well in place, border controls are working better, and pre-approvals have been given for essential travel but even so, it's hard to know exactly how much of an impact there will be on the supply chain.
"The other thing is the mental wellbeing. People have different capacity to manage and it's hard to recognise the problem."
Kaipara mayor Jason Smith is pleased that unlike before, there is now clarity around the location of checkpoints so it's easier for people to understand what they should and shouldn't be doing.
The Ministry of Health has advised people to stay home if they're sick or vulnerable, to wash your hands regularly and well, and use the NZ COVID Tracer app by scanning QR codes and keeping your Bluetooth turned on in the app, or sign in if you can't use the app.
Businesses and schools remain open but public health guidance including physical distancing and record keeping need to be maintained.
Hospitality businesses must keep groups of customers separated, seated, and served by a single person with a maximum of 100 people at a time.