Wellingtonians spent their first day in alert level 3 enjoying a rare weather forecast: "fine with light winds".
About 20 surfers were spotted at Lyall Bay this morning hoping to catch a wave.
Meanwhile, people could be seen queuing outside Arobake and Raglan Roast to get their first sip of barista-made coffee in two weeks.
There were about 10 cars in the McDonald's drive-through on Adelaide Rd before 7am.
But some hospitality businesses have chosen not to open until alert level 2.
Capitol co-owner Kate Hutchison is one of them.
She said she made the decision after thinking long and hard about it.
"It was a massive endeavour last level 3 and given the level of food and the amount of work that goes into creating it, it wasn't a profitable experience for us."
There were lots of components of the restaurant's food which were hard to package into boxes, she said.
"Logistically it was pretty full on."
Hutchison was also taking phone calls from 8am through until 10pm.
Without being able to sell alcohol, and dropping the price of food because of it being takeaway, opening ended up being more work than usual and for a lot less revenue.
Hutchison hoped level 3 would be short, but said she would revisit the decision to stay closed if restrictions were extended.
One new case of Covid-19 was reported in the community in Wellington today.
Director general of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the person is a household contact of an existing case, has previously returned three negative tests, and remains asymptomatic.
"This emphasises the importance of anyone who is a close contact, or a very close contact, seeing that 14-day period through and having that day 12 test", he said.
Wellington Chamber of Commerce chief executive Simon Arcus said the move to alert level 3 was a step in the right direction and increased business capacity.
He said only about 9 to 10 per cent of businesses were able to fully function under alert level 4, compared with nearly 40 per cent under alert level 3.
"It's very much hospitality and retail at the pointy end of the Covid pain though - they've been through the mill with it and understandably are feeling a bit scratchy about it all.
"But businesses are really largely accepting of what's going on, it's a safety reality."
Mayor Andy Foster said the shift to alert level 3 provided more flexibility, but the city was not out of the woods yet.
"[We] need to remain vigilant to ensure the safety and well-being of our community, especially the more vulnerable members of the city."
Rubbish and recycling kerbside collections are fully operational under level 3.
The Southern Landfill is open to the public, but the council's recreation facilities, libraries, and other community venues will remain closed.
Significant construction projects like the Tākina Convention Centre, Town Hall, and the St James can start again with safety protocols in place.