Rotorua business owners are experiencing deja vu after spending yesterday spacing tables in preparation for new alert level restrictions saying "it's not our first rodeo".
One pub owner cancelled an all-day conference while some people were checking out of their Rotorua accommodation early.
While some feared things would become like "Armageddon" if the country went into full lockdown again, one business leader said it was best not to overreact.
Auckland was placed into alert level 3 and the rest of the country into alert level 2 at midday yesterday. The decision followed four confirmed Covid-19 cases with no known source.
Two of the new cases travelled to Rotorua with family while showing virus symptoms and visited tourism spots.
The family visited a number of locations, including eateries on their trip. They stayed at the Waiora Hotel from August 8 to 11 and visited the Skyline Gondola Lodge on the evening of August 9 and Heritage Farms Art Gallery on the afternoon of August 10.
Yesterday Zippy Central Cafe owner Morgan Wilson said staff were spacing out tables to adhere to level 2 rules.
"There is a fair amount of work we need to do to refit the place for level 2. But staff are pretty au fait with what we need to do."
Wilson said he was "over it".
"We did our part and now we are back here again."
Level 2 was the cafe's "hardest level" as people were unsettled, but he and his staff were just going to follow the protocols, Wilson said.
"Level 2 at the beginning there was a heavy atmosphere. People didn't know what to do. But now we do and it will be better because of that.
"We've all experienced it. It's not our first rodeo."
Wilson said there was no point fretting about the unknown.
Reg Hennessy, Hospitality New Zealand Rotorua branch president and owner of Hennessy's Irish Bar, said the return to level 2 was "disappointing".
"I am worried for the wellbeing of Rotorua."
Hennessy said they were already feeling the cost of moving alert levels after having to cancel an all-day conference.
"I am trying to stay positive about it but I think if we have to go back into level 4 our industry will be severely shaken."
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If the country was to move back into level 4 Hennessy said it would be "absolute carnage" and "Armageddon".
However, Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bryce Heard said it was still early days.
"The best thing we can all do is to not overreact either way and to all do our bit to ensure that we all stay safe.
"Things like maintaining our social distancing, washing our hands, keeping track of our movements and contacts and above all, stay calm. We have done this before and know what to do."
Owner of Lala Mandala Laleyna Vail said they expanded their business into reusable mask-making to "stay afloat" post lockdown.
She said they had spaced out the store, put out hand sanitiser and reduced their hours.
She said they were planning on downsizing the store and moving more online to keep the business rolling.
Trade Aid Rotorua store manager Meaghan Kelly said it was "quite challenging" operating the store, which was run by volunteers, many older.
Store manager at Apt Collections Heather David said it was an uncertain time in business as "they really did not know what was going to happen next".
Rotorua hotel association president Blair Chalmers said more people were checking out of accommodation early yesterday , to get back to Auckland by midday.
He said there had been some cancellations in the past 12 hours and the move in alert levels would affect this weekend at the least.
"Sixty to 70 per cent of the people staying in Rotorua accommodation come from Auckland. The rest of our tourism are typically day-trippers, people from Hamilton, Tauranga and other surrounding areas who may do some activities but don't use accommodation."
Chalmers said if Auckland remained in level 3 longer than three days, hotels in the city would likely experience "very low numbers".
"We did experience some bounce back after we moved to Level 1, the school holidays helped with that, but now we are back up in the air in terms of what will happen now."
Destination Rotorua interim chief executive Andrew Wilson said Rotorua had been experiencing higher than normal visitor numbers for this time of the year "as New Zealanders have taken up the call to support the industry and explore their own country".
"Auckland has always been an important market for Rotorua, contributing around 30 per cent of our domestic spend.
"That contribution has become even more important with the absence of international visitors so we hope that the Government's quick response to the current situation will stop the spread of the virus and ensure that Aucklanders can begin to travel again as soon as possible."
Canopy Tours general manager Paul Button said despite being prepared "financially, it continues to be crippling".
"Last night, I was obviously shocked and saddened because of the emotional journey we've all been on, but in a lot of ways, it was probably inevitable.
"The first time it happened, it was a huge shock, but we now have a level 2 plan ... as a business we're more nimble."
Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford hoped the situation could be controlled quickly but there was a risk lockdown could be extended.
Harford said the move to level 2 in the Bay would dent consumer confidence and some retailers wouldneed extra Government support in order to survive.
Additional reporting - Stephanie Worsop and Caroline Fleming