Fears of a Rotorua link in New Zealand's Covid-19 Delta outbreak has created a "nerve-racking" time for some as the national lockdown is extended.
But many city leaders are commending the decision to extend the alert level 4 restrictions, with one calling it "courageous".
This afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the lockdown would last until at least 11.59pm Tuesday as it was "not safe" for any part of New Zealand to come out of level 4.
Cabinet will meet on Monday to discuss whether to reduce levels for some regions.
The announcement comes after three Delta cases were confirmed in Wellington, contributing to a total of 31 cases, as of this afternoon.
The Wellington cases had travelled to Auckland and visited a location of interest. Two travelled back by car with four petrol stations on their route expected to be named as locations of interest.
A possible link to an Auckland choir that visited Rotorua for the Big Sing gala event has also created worry.
Rotorua-based Labour list MP Tamati Coffey said the lockdown extension was "the right thing to do" because things were "so uncertain at the moment".
"People around here are talking about members of Avondale College who came down to the Big Sing competition this week in Rotorua," he said.
"Things are a bit nerve-racking for some," Coffey said.
The gala event was cancelled 45 minutes before it was due to start by the lockdown announcement on Tuesday night.
The next day, Avondale College students and staff were told to isolate for two weeks after a teacher tested positive for Covid-19.
The teacher was at school for two days last week and on Monday this week when she was infectious.
Big Sing organisers have advised other attendees to get tested if they are symptomatic, but the event has not been listed as a location of interest and there is not yet any evidence there was someone infectious at the event.
Rotorua MP, National's Todd McClay, said the impact of the lockdown on smaller businesses, particularly "mum and dad" businesses, was "very concerning".
He called on the Government for extra support to help cover their loss of income.
He also said the Government should "ramp up" vaccination rates as this was the only way to keep people safe.
"It is so important to reinforce to people they must follow all level 4 rules, including wearing face masks."
Chamber of Commerce Rotorua chief executive Bryce Heard said his heart went out to everyone out of work.
"As far as business is concerned, it's gut-wrenching to have it again when we were all hopeful we wouldn't," he said.
"We're doing a short, sharp lockdown hopefully - a lot better that, than have it hanging on and on."
Heard said it was "good to know" everyone was doing their bit, and encouraged people to stay home, stay safe and look after each other.
"The sooner we're all vaccinated the better."
Guidough's Bakery owner Guido Bachmann said the extension was disappointing.
He said the business operated on tight margins and their fridges were chock-full with perishables, but anything that could not be refrigerated or given to staff had to be tossed.
He said it was "very frustrating" the food business could not operate, even on a limited basis, when supermarkets were allowed to keep operating.
Rotorua's Tonic Beauty salon owner Zarnia Lee said the extension was "unfortunate" but she was trying to stay positive and "carry on the best I can".
"I know Covid-19 is going to be part and parcel of our lives for quite a long time."
Lee said her main concern was whether customers would not come back if the lockdown carried on for weeks.
Rotorua Central Mall's Peter Faulkner said: "It is what it is given the speed of what has been developing over the last few days, which is unfortunate, but short sharp lockdown is far better than one that drags on for weeks or months."
Hospitality Association Bay of Plenty branch president Reg Hennessy said he hoped the lockdown would only last the week.
"Because if it goes for much longer ... things start to get a little bit worrying for the industry."
"For a lot of businesses, those will probably be financial worries ... and losing a lot of bookings."
Restaurant Association of New Zealand chief executive Marisa Bidois said the extension was "a blow to the industry".
"I think the hardest part, if not the lockdown itself, is the not knowing what's around the corner that is quite stressful for businesses," she said.
Bidois said it was important hospitality businesses owners knew they were not alone.
"We can assist with things they need - even if it's someone to have a chat with and someone who understands what's going on in their business and can help them through."
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick advised residents to "be very vigilant".
"This is the Delta strain - quite different to last time and we need to be very careful," she said.
"The greatest thing we can do is stay at home."
Waiariki MP Rawiri Waititi commended the Government for being "courageous" by extending the lockdown.
"We've just got to buckle down and continue to do our part in this lockdown which is to stay home."
Rotorua Economic Development chief executive Andrew Wilson said the best response for the local economy was a strong health response.
"While we understand the myriad challenges that come with a lockdown, we also know that the people of Rotorua are agile, resilient and realistic," he said.
"What we are hearing is that many businesses are pleased with the decision that Aotearoa New Zealand has moved quickly into a snap lockdown."
Wilson said it was "more important now than ever" to be kind, safe, and seek out the information and support that was available.
Ardern said the country was in a reasonable position but it was still early days.
"This isn't a time to be complacent."
The Government was still waiting on a record number of test results to be returned.
As of 2pm, 2363 people had been identified as contacts of the outbreak. This number excludes the central Auckland Church of Christ and Avondale College contacts.
More than 24,000 community tests were performed across the city, with more than 8000 at community testing centres and around 16,000 at general practice and urgent care clinics.