A pharmacy in Wellington had people queuing for face masks before the store even opened this morning.
One-use masks and reusable masks alike are selling out fast across the country as people react to moving up Covid-19 alert levels.
Unichem Lambton Quay pharmacist Audrey Shum said 500 masks sold out in 15 minutes today.
"We had people lining up outside before we opened and for the first half hour there were very long lines of everyone wanting to buy face masks, then we sold out."
Shum said the masks the pharmacy ordered last week took three to four days to arrive, but she wouldn't be surprised if their next order would take longer, considering demand.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has clarified masks would not be mandatory for those in alert level 3 in Auckland.
Instead she "strongly encouraged" everyone to wear a mask, scarf or bandanna to cover their face.
Those living in other parts of the country in alert level 2 should wear a mask when it's difficult to practise physical distancing, like on public transport.
Five million of the Government's general supply is being distributed across the country.
One million masks have been allocated to Countdown and the Government is working on plans to distribute three million masks to those who may struggle to afford or access them.
Bargain Chemist Riccarton manager Andrew Zhang got fresh stock in at about 11 o'clock this morning, but by 3pm all 1500 masks were sold.
But he said people weren't panicked and remained calm.
Meanwhile, Unichem Pharmacy on Cuba St in Wellington posted a sign outside its store this morning saying they had also run out of face masks for the day.
"We do however have another shipment arriving in the next few days. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused and will endeavour to keep stock throughout this difficult time", the sign read.
Auckland City Pharmacy was also selling masks quickly. Pharmacist Jin Lee said about 12 packs of 50 masks went out the door this morning and by 3pm there were only four packs left.
Little Yellow Bird posted on its Facebook page that it was temporarily pausing its cotton mask sales while it increased capacity.
"We are doing everything we can to increase capacity and will restock our mask listings as soon as we can."
This afternoon Hills Hats in Petone didn't have any masks it was producing in stock on its website.
"Due to high demand, we are restocking as soon as we can. Best to keep checking the website. Designs are being uploaded as soon as they are available."
Annah Stretton updated its website today saying due to high demand the business was temporarily not taking any more orders for masks for the next 48 hours.
"We need to clear the decks and continue to fill current orders. Will be back online over the weekend for mask sales. Be kind, be patient xx," the website said.