The first case of the Covid-19 Delta variant in the South Island should act as a "kick up the backside" and result in a vaccination spike, community and business leaders say.
A young man, who is linked to the Te Awamutu cluster and had flown from Rotorua last Thursday, tested positive for Covid-19 late on Friday night.
It's the first community case in the South Island for a year.
The Ministry of Health says the case is thought to be low risk, likely coming in the late stage of infection.
The man is isolating, as is a small number of identified close contacts, and awaiting the results of further testing.
News of Delta finally hitting the Mainland after a year dodging the virus has hit Blenheim businesses hard.
Annette Gould, manager of Copper Beech House accommodation, was shaken by the news.
"It doesn't surprise me, I guess we've been waiting for this to happen but I've really got to get tighter in the hostel," said Gould.
Gould is now considering mandatory vaccination proof for all visitors.
"I might say no newcomers unless they are vaccinated, and those already here, they have until the end of November to get vaccinated," she said.
A widespread outbreak would be devastating, Gould says, and she encouraged all backpackers to get the jab.
"We've survived it this far, with two lockdowns, and the first one was hell, the second one scary, and we've managed to keep going," she said.
"If we get one hit of Covid, we have to shut down and everyone will lose their job. The repercussions will be huge."
The shock case was the "kick up the backside" the South Island needed, according to Pete Coldwell, general manager of the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce.
South Islanders have felt "isolated" from the virus and lived a relatively normal life over the past 12 months, says Coldwell, so he hopes that the new case prompts the unvaccinated to now get the jab.
Hospitality and tourism have been hardest hit by Covid-19 in the Marlborough region, but with many other businesses suffering knock-on effects.
But most businesses were returning to "some semblance of normality" until today's news.
"Today they're just wondering if they'll be locked down again," Coldwell said.
"Hopefully, this latest case is truly isolated and it doesn't spread. And if that scenario comes through then it's just a case of vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate.
"It's going to get here again – at some point – even if they do contain this one. So we just need to get the vaccination numbers up and get them up quickly."
Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said the announcement would've given everyone in the wine sector an "uncomfortable afternoon".
But another lockdown now, or sudden move to tighter restrictions, "wouldn't be the worst timing" for the industry, Pickens said, with the harvest between February to May being the most critical time.
"We've had many rehearsals so it's the familiar now rather than the unexpected," he said.
Several Aucklanders have allegedly travelled to Blenheim in breach of Covid travel restrictions.
They include two sex workers arrested at a Blenheim motel and a businesswoman who allegedly flew from down for a property appraisal.
People in Blenheim are being urged to check the regularly updated locations of interest list.
"We are also asking Blenheim residents with symptoms – no matter how mild – to please get tested, even if they are vaccinated," the Ministry of Health said.