An isolated East Coast community may set up road blocks to prevent travellers and out-of towners from entering - and risking the spread of coronavirus.

Discussions are being held to start a checkpoint at Hicks Bay to dissuade non-essential travel into the Tairawhiti region.

Tina Ngata, one of the organisers, said they had a traffic management plan, had informed police and the checkpoint would be working in teams of two.

"This is not a good time to be coming into the region. We have diminished health services and a vulnerable population who meet all the criteria to most likely contract the virus and least likely to recover.

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"This makes us a high risk community."

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has introduced an alert system as the country fights Covid-19.

Ms Ngata said they would be telling all motorists entering this region just that.

"We have also written letters to the campervan association to discourage people from coming here for the protection of our community."

Discussions are being held to start a checkpoint at Hicks Bay to dissuade non-essential travel into the Tairawhiti region. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Discussions are being held to start a checkpoint at Hicks Bay to dissuade non-essential travel into the Tairawhiti region. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Ms Ngata said they were asking tourists to be considerate.

"Long after people go home we are still left with poor health services."

There is also a meeting in Te Araroa tomorrow, with information being shared with Whanau a Apanui — the major iwi north of Potaka.

Waatea News reported the Eastern Bay of Plenty iwi was also considering closing off its borders to stop the spread of Covid-19 to protect kaumatua, people would be able to travel through but not stay.

One of the confirmed Covid-19 cases yesterday was in Hawke's Bay.

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Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

- Gisborne Herald