Hundreds of partygoers ignored the Government's advice and crowded into Wellington bars on Saturday night with no social distancing in sight.

Just hours after prime minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the country was on a level two alert and urged people to work from home and keep a safe two metre distance from each other, young revellers took to bars around the country.

Photos have emerged of young people queuing up outside popular hot spots in Courtenay Place in Wellington on Saturday night standing shoulder-to-shoulder.

Partygoers flocked to Wellington bars on Saturday despite fresh warnings about social distancing. Photo / Supplied
Partygoers flocked to Wellington bars on Saturday despite fresh warnings about social distancing. Photo / Supplied

A member of the public said he took the photos to show that social distancing was not working at all at open bars and it was a big risk.

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There were also reports of bars in other main cities including Auckland and Hamilton teeming with people.

Hospitality Association of New Zealand chief executive Julie White said both customers and staff needed to do their part and people needed time to digest the new guidelines that would help them work out how they could operate amid the restrictions.

Social distancing rules were ignored by young people hanging out at bars on Courtenay Place in Wellington on Saturday night. Photo / Supplied
Social distancing rules were ignored by young people hanging out at bars on Courtenay Place in Wellington on Saturday night. Photo / Supplied

The guidelines included implementing a Covid-19 guest register of everyone in a venue and undertaking regular head counts to ensure there were no more than 100 people inside.

"It was just realised on the busiest night of the week that people socialise. I think there needs to be a little bit of grace for people to go ok so this is the new norm."

She said there needed to be time to get the message out.

"These are brand new rules. Our operators are so keen to remain open so they will do everything they can. But they can only do so much..."

People mingling at bars along Courtenay Place on Saturday night. Photo / Supplied
People mingling at bars along Courtenay Place on Saturday night. Photo / Supplied

Some of the responsibility also needed to go back to the individual to practice their own social distancing, she said.

The hospitality sector was hurting "exponentially" and as business dropped staff were having to be laid off.

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"When the prime minister says be kind. don't forget the person serving you is going through this as well. Our operators are trying everything they can to retain their staff. But at the end of the day as it drops off, a huge impact is the job losses in our industry."

Wellington mayor Andy Foster said it was everybody's obligation - the patrons' and the proprietors' - to make sure there weren't too many people in the bar and restaurant and to keep their distance.

Foster said as the alert levels increased it would likely lead to the bars and restaurants having to close.

However he said a lot of people were doing the right thing and keeping their distance.

"Most of the councils have already closed down most of their facilities. We've closed down all our indoor facilities now and it's not too big a stretch to seeing that being advanced to other premises which are non-essential."