An Auckland bar owner says he is turning away people who are over the age of 70 as they are deemed to be at critical risk of the potentially deadly virus.
Leo Molloy, who owns HeadQuarters bar on Auckland's Viaduct Basin, said he and his staff had started taking "bold initiatives" including checking people's passports on entry.
"One man was 89 and was not happy about it."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in her first ever address to the nation today, is asking all people over 70 or with compromised immune systems to stay at home and all non-essential domestic travel to be curtailed.
And she had a stern message for New Zealanders who are not taking the threat of Covid-19 seriously, saying they should think about their friends and family and consider that their blithe approach could imperil people's lives.
Molloy said he had already been refusing people over the age of 70 before the PM's speech as he felt he had a responsibility to protect people.
"I'm protecting them too, you can't have them wandering around people who might be asymptomatic carriers, or all these nutcases who weren't self-isolating. It's in everybody's best interest."
There are 528,000 people aged 70-plus in New Zealand, including Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, who is 74.
Ardern said in a press conference after her address that Peters would continue to come to work as he was an essential part of the Government's Covid-19 team, but he would exercise good health practices such as physical distancing and handwashing.
It comes as New Zealand now has 52 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including two cases which have no link to overseas travel.
Molloy's bar staff are also turning away dozens of tourists who have been in the country for less than a week and are refusing to self-isolate.
The Government last Sunday announced all international travellers arriving into New Zealand were required by law to self-isolate for 14 days.
• Coronavirus: PM Jacinda Ardern outlines NZ's new alert system, over-70s should stay at home
• Coronavirus: New Zealand rolls out drive-through hubs for testing Covid-19
• Coronavirus: New Zealand has 52 positive cases, including two with no link to overseas travel
• Coronavirus: Jenene Crossan - 'It's not a top 40 list I wanted to be on'
If their passport showed they had arrived in the country less than 14 days ago they were not allowed into the bar, Molloy said.
Today, he had turned away 17 tourists "who couldn't be bothered to self-isolate". Molloy said he had started sending photographs of the passports to the Ministry of Health.
"I've spoke to the Ministry of Health about it and they say they are activating my concerns immediately. They had no idea the magnitude of the problem."
"Most of them admit it straight away and say they don't give a f***, 'we are young and we are just here for a laugh'."
Molloy said he was frustrated by the visitors who weren't self isolating.
"We tell them they're not coming in and then have to watch them walk straight into another outlet.
"They don't care, they just don't take it seriously. Some say they walked straight through the airport and were never told to self-isolate."
Molloy said his biggest concern was for the 73 staff who worked for him at the bar.
"When tourists come into the country officials should get their cellphone details and they should be tracking them via GPS.
"They should also get a number of where they are staying and ring that number three times a day, if they are not there then they should get a $10,000 fine instantly."
One Wednesday, two people who arrived in New Zealand from South East Asia and failed to self-isolate were kicked out of the country.
The pair had put New Zealanders at risk and were being removed from the country, Immigration NZ said.
INZ compliance and verification general manager Stephen Vaughan said the tourists' behaviour was unacceptable.
"This kind of behaviour is completely irresponsible and will not be tolerated which is why these individuals have been made liable for deportation," he said on Wednesday.
"Being deported has serious consequences. It means individuals will be banned from returning to New Zealand for a period of time and they may also find it difficult to travel to other countries."
Vaughan said the Government's travel restrictions and requirements to self-isolate would help save lives.
"It is important that all travellers to New Zealand abide with those requirements."