About 80 Auckland funerals have been postponed today due to the change in Covid-19 alert levels with the Funeral Directors Association warning it puts a lot of last minute stress on grieving families.
Brides and grooms-to-be will also be anxiously faced with making the big call over whether to postpone their nuptials as the change in alert levels - which prevents gatherings of no more than 10 in Auckland and no more than 100 in the rest of the country - comes into force.
The government restrictions are initially place until midnight Wednesday but could potentially be extended.
Funeral Directors Association president Gary Taylor said the announcement had an immediate and devastating impact on grieving families.
"Telling a family that they have to delay the meaningful farewell of their loved one less than 24 hours beforehand is one of the hardest things we have to do.
"Most of this week is already booked with funerals after the short week last week and so a substantial number of families are being hit by this."
The association estimated 80 funerals had been postponed on Monday alone.
Funeral Directors Association chief executive David Moger said funeral directors began contacting their client families as soon as the announcement was made, explaining what is happening and providing options.
"So far it seems the most popular option is to delay the funeral until later this week or into next week as we don't know what will happen when the lockdown deadline expires on Wednesday night."
The association's members all had extensive resources dedicated to managing funerals and tangihanga in the Covid-19 environment to give the New Zealand public confidence in a safe response, he said.
"If anyone loses a loved one particularly over the next 72 hours, they can contact any one of our members who will work with them in a Covid-19-safe way."
Celebrant Association of New Zealand president Lianne Fraser said the restrictions had come right in the middle of the wedding season so was likely to impact a large number of brides and grooms if it extended through to the weekend when the majority of larger weddings were held.
And for some it would be their second attempt at getting married after having to postpone their nuptials last year due to the country going into lockdown.
"It's just devastating for families and probably for couples. For example if a wedding is having to be postponed this week, it could have been postponed from last year so there will be a lot of stress out there."
Initial feedback from Auckland celebrants was that registry weddings would go ahead this week as planned with the strict understanding that numbers are limited to 10 including the couple and celebrant and following Covid-19 protocols.
Those planning to tie the knot at the weekend were waiting to see what the next 24 hours brings.
She said while Aucklanders would feel the biggest impact - everyone would be affected in some way.
"If it [the lockdown] goes into the weekend - we are in the middle of the wedding season - there will be a lot of people impacted there as well."