A Rotorua business owner is "optimistic the tide will turn" as the nationwide alert level 4 lockdown is extended another four days until Friday evening.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today announced the entire country, except Auckland, would remain at the highest alert level until 11.59pm on Friday, with a review held that afternoon.
Auckland will remain in a level 4 lockdown until at least next Tuesday.
Helloworld Travel Rotorua owner Deborah Kay said the past week had been difficult.
"We're all working from home and working long hours. We haven't rebooked anything; we've just been cancelling ...
"I think people are waiting to see what happens. People have just been putting their holidays on hold until they know what the situation is looking like."
Kay hoped things would improve swiftly if people continued to follow Covid-19 restrictions.
"We're optimistic the tide will turn and that we'll be able to get ourselves into a manageable approach that we can work safely."
Friday's decision on whether some regions can come out of level 4 will depend on factors including wastewater results and if there are new cases outside of Auckland.
Ardern showed a map of the Delta outbreak close contacts to show the virus' "head start" and appeared to feature multiple contacts in the Bay of Plenty.
Health officials remained confident New Zealand could get on top of the virus again, she said.
"We just need to keep it up, ensure we are not in restrictions any longer than we need to be."
Stolen Bike Catering owner Ryan Gregorash said people did not need to look far to see how damaging not following the restrictions could be.
"You think of the stuff happening in Australia, it's going on and on and on," he said.
Extending the lockdown was "wise", he said. "I think that's what we need to do — look at the bigger picture."
Māori Party co-leader and Waiariki MP Rawiri Waititi said case numbers needed to stop or decline before the lockdown ended.
He thought people were dealing with this lockdown better than the first.
"I think it's been a lot easier than the last time because we didn't know what to expect," Waititi said.
"People were a bit more anxious – I know there are still some anxieties out there, especially when it comes to people's livelihoods.
Rotorua MP Todd McClay said the extension would put a lot of strain on people but the Delta variant wasn't to be taken lightly.
"I'm already receiving a lot of calls from small businesses who are very worried about how they are going to get through," he said.
"Delta spreads very easily and we need to take it seriously, it's the only way to limit the harm that can be done to people's health and their livelihoods," he said.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said the Delta strain was "dangerous" and it was important everyone worked together to make sure it didn't take hold in the community.
She thought the decision to extend the lockdown was the right one: "I think it's playing it safe and I agree, it feels 'go hard, go early'."
Hennessey's Bar owner Reg Hennessey said his staff were anxious about the lockdown and hoped the Government would provide more clarity.
"[The Government] tell us numbers are going to go up and they only give us lockdowns of three or four days," Hennessey said.
"For us, it's about planning our futures and the more certainty they can give us the better around reopening times."
Redwoods Treewalk co-founder Bruce Thomasen approved of the shorter lockdowns.
"I think they're trying to take a more conservative approach and not a sledgehammer to shut it out, they're using the latest information and then update given that," he said.
"I'm thankful for the way they're dealing with that and support anything that makes sure we stamp this one out. Economically, we know that's the right thing to do."
Thomasen hoped the country would be at alert level 1 by the start of the next school holidays on October 2.
Good Eastern Taphouse owner Andy Allan said the support the community showed after the lockdown last year was phenomenal and he expected the same again.
"As an owner, [lockdowns are] pretty tough. You just have to grin and bear it and know that when you come out of it, you're going to be supported by all the locals."
Lockdown as a young mum
Rotorua mum Olivia Bolton is living in lockdown with her mum, stepdad and 2-year-old son Cooper.
The 21-year-old Toi Ohomai student said she was "a little bit" disappointed and surprised when the lockdown was initially announced.
"I can't wait to get back to school. I am studying from home at the moment, but it is quite hard because a lot of it is practical," she said.
"But I am happy for us to be in lockdown to keep everybody safe."
Bolton said Cooper was "going a bit crazy" at home but she was trying to keep him busy with activities and exercise.
She was grateful to have family members in her bubble - including her son's father - who could care for him when she was studying.
- Additional reporting Emma Houpt