The announcement of an eight-week transtasman bubble pause between New Zealand and Australia has started to have an impact on Northland tourism and hospitality businesses.
The Government made the decision to stop quarantine-free travel from Friday 11.59pm after a spike in Covid-19 cases across Australia.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she wouldn't risk the hard work put in by the team of 5 million by keeping the bubble open, particularly with the risk from the highly infectious Delta variant, telling Kiwis "come home - we're giving you seven days".
House of Travel Whangārei owner-operator Stephen Gillingham said his company was having to deal with "a number of people returning from Australia who have had to cut short their stay."
His team have been working hard to ensure those people can come home within the next week, he said.
"It has quite an effect on us. For the next eight weeks we won't be able to book people to Australia, but the Cook Islands is still hugely popular.
"It's frustrating for everyone concerned but public health is a key priority and we definitely understand that."
Stay Kerikeri Boutique Apartments and Studios owner Bill Schwass said he's had two cancellations from Australia.
Two couples from Sydney who had booked for five nights each phoned on Friday, the day Ardern made the announcement.
"We were ready for it," Schwass said.
"We didn't have many bookings from Australia at this time. What worries us is Christmas, we've got quite a lot of bookings then.
"If the bubble stays broken we'll lose a high value of bookings."
The bubble will be closed for at least the next eight weeks as various Australian states and territories grapple with multiple outbreaks of the virus.
For the next seven days there will be managed return flights for New Zealanders from all states and territories that will require proof of a negative pre-departure test.
Additionally, those who have been in NSW will still have to go into MIQ for 14 days, and those who have been in Victoria must self-isolate upon return and have a negative day 3 test.
The New Zealand Government has ruled out any specific support for tourism businesses hit by the suspension.
Hospitality New Zealand chief executive Julie White says the impacts on the hospitality and accommodation sectors are being felt immediately.
There would be "thousands of cancellations" across the country, she said.
"The reality is the impact and effects will be felt throughout New Zealand.
"This is not what the industry needs right now. I am also concerned with the toll this is having on people in the industry, and the onset of Covid-fatigue."
Duke of Marlborough part owner Riki Kinnaird said they'd had a "small amount" of cancellations from Australian travellers.
About 10 people had booked accommodation at the historic Russel hotel for an average of two nights each, he said.
"It was a small amount and we've got a really good demand from Kiwis travelling. Kiwis are travelling a lot to the Duke and the Bay.
"If it continues to November through April, when we get a bigger influx of Australians, we'll see an impact then."
Kerikeri businesswoman Vanessa Owen, who runs Driftwood Seaside Escapes, said of her current bookings, 98 per cent were New Zealanders.
She has some Australian bookings over summer, from December to March, but they haven't been affected, yet.
"We've had a few emails saying they're watching things," she said.
"But we're focused on New Zealanders, and keeping the price point at where they can afford to pay.
"We and most other providers I know are keyed into doing that, looking after New Zealand guests and creating great experiences for them."
Schwass was philosophical about doing business during a global pandemic.
"It is what it is. Having come through Covid and understanding your business, you've got to take it on the chin and move on.
"It's been great over the school holidays with Kiwis travelling - we've had a good year."