Rotorua Airport will remain open to support essential services as New Zealand moves into lockdown tonight.

Rotorua Airport chief executive Mark Gibb said the airport was currently operating at Alert Level 3 and would move to Alert Level 4 tonight in line with the Government's announcement.

He said their immediate focus was to "support essential travel to enable the travelling public, friends and whānau to get to where they need to be,

"From Thursday, we will move to our role as a lifeline utility under Alert Level 4. This means that airport operations will be restricted to supporting a limited domestic passenger network delivering essential travel, medical flights and aviation activity and support relating to key government agencies."

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He said they still had a number of domestic flights due in over the next few days as New Zealanders made their way home but they expected low level of activity after that.

"Travel will only be for essential services."

Access to the terminal will be restricted to key staff and travellers only and all airport retail outlets would be closed, he said.

"We've taken extra measures, including increased cleaning to protect people and we've activated our business continuity plan to ensure that we can continue to remain operational for key flights if and when they are needed, such as medical flights."

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