Struggling businesses on Waiheke Island are calling for the island's border to reopen to Aucklanders.
Waiheke Island Tourism (WITI), Waiheke Wine Growers Association and Waiheke Restaurant Association want an urgent review of the border restrictions, which allow local residents to travel to Auckland but don't allow Auckland day trippers to visit the island.
WITI chairwoman Christina Hyde said there was no rationale for the border in the first place and none for it to stay.
She said the health of the community is at the forefront of everyone's mind on the island, but opening to Aucklanders is the only way to keep many businesses afloat.
"Waiheke businesses cannot survive on takeaway coffees and picnics alone, particularly if they are only serving the local market."
Businesses are frustrated the border restrictions were introduced without consultation with the industry when Auckland went into alert level 3 step 1, Hyde said.
"People are already moving between Auckland and Waiheke and the virus has found its way here. The border hasn't kept it out."
The first confirmed case of Covid-19 on the island allegedly tested positive in Auckland but was able to travel to the island by ferry and isolate at their home.
"Aucklanders are the island's main market and the tourism industry is in desperate need of domestic visitors to survive international border closures and long regional lockdowns.
"We need to see clarity now when that border will be taken down and it won't be there for step 2, step 3, orange, red or whatever comes next," she said.
The plea from businesses is not shared by the Waiheke Local Board, which wants to tighten the border restrictions until the number of Covid-19 vaccinations on the island increases.
Chairwoman Cath Handley said the board wants nothing more than to see businesses trading, but residents are grateful for the restrictions as they stand now.
She said the island is working hard and fast to get vaccination rates up at which point the Government could open the border or phase it in, preferably after talking with the board.
Handley said the border restrictions should be tightened, saying people who travel to the island with exemptions should have had regular Covid tests.
This happened for Waiheke residents travelling to jobs in places like Auckland Hospital and Starship, she said.