Wellington has woken up to alert level 4 this morning, the first time in over a year the capital has been in lockdown.
It follows the discovery of a community case of Covid-19 in Auckland, who had no known links to the border.
Last night Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country would enter alert level 4 from midnight on Tuesday night for an initial period of three days.
Non-essential operations at Wellington City Council would cease, while Wellington Regional and Hutt Hospitals were rescheduling planned procedures and not permitting visitors.
Around 80 flights will be operating in and out of Wellington Airport today.
A spokesperson said the airport would remain open, but asked people only enter if travelling for essential reasons, such as for work or to return home.
"On arrival at the airport, all passengers will be greeted by a member of Aviation Security and asked to provide proof of their reason for travel.
"We therefore advise passengers to allow more time than usual to check in for their flight to allow for this process."
Social distancing measures and regular deep cleaning would be enforced within the terminal, and the wearing of masks was strongly encouraged.
The spokesperson asked passengers to contact airlines for any information about passenger numbers of changes to schedules as a result of the Covid alert level change.
Wellington mayor Andy Foster said the move to alert level 4 was frustrating but necessary.
"For Wellington City Council, alert level 4 means our staff and contractors will be following safety protocols to keep themselves and our community safe," he said.
"This includes limiting contact with the public and providing more services online or over the phone wherever we can."
He reminded the public to follow guidance from the Ministry of Health.
"Under alert level 4 people are expected to work from home where possible unless it's essential, and to stay safe and adhere to recommended health and physical distancing protocols – and most importantly we need to be kind, compassionate and patient."
An update from Capital & Coast District Health Board it would be prioritising urgent and acute services, rescheduling planned procedures where safe to do so.
It reminded the public CBACs (Community Based Assessment Centres) would remain available for people who met the criteria for testing.
Visitor restrictions had been re-imposed at the region's hospitals during alert level 4.
The only exceptions to the strict visitor policy would be a birthing partner for a woman in labour, a support person for a patient with a disability or for kaumātua if they require when visiting a patient.
Waste Operations manager Emily Taylor-Hall said rubbish would continue to be collected but glass recycling would not be collected while the city was at level 4.
"The decision has been made from a health and safety perspective to protect their workers.
"The Delta variant is much more transmissible from the first round, and glass recycling is predominantly bottles, many of which may carry saliva residue."
Residents with recycling collections on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were asked not to put glass on their kerbside.
The Southern Landfill would be closed to the public, as would the Tip Shop and Recycle Centre.
Recreation facilities, libraries, and other community venues will also be closed.
Work on construction projects such as the Tākina Convention Centre, Town Hall, and the St James would also temporarily cease.
Routine or planned maintenance work will stop across the city on roads, infrastructure and parks and reserves network, along with many smaller construction projects.
Council encouraged Wellingtonians to stay active mentally and physically throughout lockdown.
Libraries and community spaces manager Laurinda Thomas said there were online services available through the library.
"While we're in lockdown there are some great online services you can tap into while you're staying home – and all you need is a library card.
"You can learn a language, download an ebook or audiobook, stream a movie, and read newspapers and magazines from all over the globe."