Aucklanders are already on the road well before dawn as the city braces for a busy morning as people scramble to be prepared ahead of lunchtime's lockdown.

The motorways are already starting to show signs of an early morning rush in what will be a morning filled with preparation to work away from offices for the rest of the week.

Many people have already fled the city, heading out of town last night to escape the widespread looming restrictions.

Meanwhile those staying put are heading to the supermarket to stock up on food and supplies even though the initial lockdown is just over two days.

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As of noon today, Auckland moves to alert level 3 for three days until midnight on Friday. The rest of the country will move to alert level 2.

It came after four cases of Covid-19 from the same family were confirmed - after 102 days without any community transmission.

Last night motorways were clogged as Aucklanders rushed to supermarkets and motorists encountered numerous diversions, with routes closed for roadwork maintenance.

State Highway 1 was closed at multiple points, with lengthy queues along the motorway soon after the Prime Minister announced the region would be moving up to alert level 3.

Well before 6am a steady stream of motorists were heading into the city on the northern, southern and western routes.

With just six hours left until lockdown, many Aucklanders are now urgently retrieving workplace equipment and collecting vital supplies ahead of the looming deadline.

Traffic on the motorways continued to build quickly before 7am heading into Auckland's central business district.

Footage from highway cameras shows an increasing number of vehicles moving across the motorway network, so far without incident.

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Grocery shoppers have set their alarms early to get to Auckland supermarkets well before 7am.

Scores of people have tried to beat the crowds by turning up as early as 6.30am at the New World Victoria Park in Freeman's Bay.

The number of vehicles in the store's underground carpark had doubled in a matter of 10 minutes by 6.30am.

One shopper said she had set her alarm early to make sure she could do the groceries before she headed to work and before lockdown started.

Another man said his shopping day happened to be today which was "unfortunate timing".

A petrol station at Bombay was packed with cars fleeing Auckland soon after the announcement to go into lockdown was made.

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Z Bombay, at the end of the Southern Motorway, saw a rush of vehicles filling up with petrol before heading out of the city.

"Some people were like, 'We just want to get out of Auckland'," said the station's customer service officer.

Up to three vehicles were waiting at each of the eight pumps before the rush died down around midnight.

He said this morning business had returned normal.

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