Bay of Plenty city leaders have said the red light was "inevitable" and "the right thing," and now we all have to play our part.
Rotorua-based Labour list MP Tāmati Coffey said New Zealand had coped with Covid-19 by "listening to the professionals."
"If this is what the experts say we need to do, then that's what we need to do.
"If we just keep doing what we've been doing, we'll be able to see this thing through.
"But it does require everybody to keep the faith."
He was initially concerned about how red would affect his own Rotorua hospitality business.
But he said he soon decided that the red light was "not actually much of a difference" for him.
"We're trying to fight a pandemic...we're trying to slow down the progress of Omicron.
"I should hope that other business owners understand the conundrum of having to make a decision like that."
Whakatāne district mayor Judy Turner said it was critical to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed and non-Covid-19 treatments from being impacted.
"That would be disastrous."
She said everyone had to be mindful of each other and work together to keep Omicron at bay.
"Part of being a community is that we've all got to be there for each other. It's not just about our own outcomes, it's about the outcomes of other people.
"We all have to play our part."
She felt most concerned for hospitality businesses and those relying on large gatherings.
"They will be the ones who ultimately pay the price for helping keep the rest of us safe."
She was also concerned about how work absences could affect the economy if workers need to isolate.
Ōpōtiki district mayor Lyn Riesterer thought the Government had done the right thing.
"The red light is great because it still means all of us that are fully vaccinated are able to carry on...it gives us more safety, as much as we can have.
"I know it imposes a lot on our hospitality and tourism areas, however they're still able to continue."
Rieterer said she was concerned about Ōpōtiki's vaccination rate - which was 76.3 per cent as of January 12 - but she was encouraged by their "huge improvement through November and December."
She thought Omicron would provide an "extra jolt" for people to get vaccinated.
"It upsets me to think that people are almost not community-minded to understand how much more support getting vaccinated gives everybody."
She said we need to stay positive by focusing on how much better off we are than countries that have taken different paths.
"The Government have been fully supported by very knowledgable medical people."
She said because the Government "says 'people first, the health of our nation first,' the rest will look after itself."
Western Bay of Plenty District mayor Garry Webber said he thought the red light was 'inevitable.'
"Now we've got to manage it as best we can - we're in the same position as the rest of the world.
"Nobody asked for it to happen, but it's here."
He said it was up to the community to "make sure they get vaccinated and get the boosters as quickly as they can.
"That's the only way we're going to get a rough chance of getting ahead of this."
"Unfortunately, there are parts of our community that aren't [vaccinated], and we're really going to have to work on those people to get them to understand this is the only way forward."
MP for the Bay of Plenty Todd Muller said the move to red was "the sensible thing to do."
However, he thought there was a lack of "urgency" from the Government around providing rapid antigen tests and N95 face masks.
"It seems startling to me that the Government are running around trying to order these tests and masks - this stuff should have been done months ago."
He said the loss of events around the Bay was "a huge heartbreak for those that have been trying to pull them together, and really gutting for them."
He said those feeling weighed down or anxious should "get outside and walk around this beautiful community."
"I think it helps sort of recalibrate you. It certainly does for me."