Auckland Airport is urging travellers to stay at home unless they are confirmed to depart from the international terminal within three hours.

The plea comes as the airport experiences significant demand at its international terminal amid the developing Covid-19 pandemic.

Busy scenes at Auckland International Airport departure hall today as people ready for flights. Photo / Alex Burton
Busy scenes at Auckland International Airport departure hall today as people ready for flights. Photo / Alex Burton

"Auckland Airport is focused on maintaining our operation so Kiwis can get home, and overseas travellers can get to where they need to be," general manager operations Anna Cassels-Brown said.

"The international terminal is extremely busy, and we are asking people to consider whether it's really necessary for them to come into the building."

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PM Jacinda Ardern talks to Mike Hosking about the government's response to coronavirus.
Travellers have been asked not to visit the airport unless they are departing within three hours. Photo / Alex Burton
Travellers have been asked not to visit the airport unless they are departing within three hours. Photo / Alex Burton

New Zealand now has 39 confirmed cases of the virus after 11 new infections were confirmed on Friday.

The Government closed the country's border to non-citizens or permanent residents last night in an unprecedented bid to curb the virus' spread.

As the fallout continues, supermarkets have begun limiting the number of products people can buy to address panic buying. At least one traveller was seen at Auckland Airport's departure lounge today taking a large number toilet rolls out of the country.

Cassels-Brown asked for the public's assistance to reduce foot traffic at the airport.

"We would like only departing passengers who are booked to fly within three hours to come to the international terminal. If people are dropping someone off for a flight or picking up family and friends, please do not come into the international terminal, and instead, make use of the pick-up/drop-off area for farewells or use our Wait Zone for pick-ups."

International flights are still arriving and departing at Auckland Airport, although flight schedules have been disrupted by the border restrictions.

On Friday, international flight arrivals and departures were down about 20 per cent overall. On Monday, international passenger numbers were down 44 per cent on the same day in 2019, Cassels-Brown said.

Auckland Airport staff are following Ministry of Health guidelines within the terminal and are reminding travellers, through roving staff and PA announcements every eight minutes, to maintain a physical distance (social distancing) between themselves as they wait in arrival and departure areas.

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"We acknowledge this can be difficult to achieve when people queuing, but our ask is that everyone is mindful of the social distancing protocols that have been recommended by the Government to slow the spread of COVID-19."

For more flight arrival and departure information please check: https://www.aucklandairport.co.nz/flights

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