A spike in violence, rest homes in lockdown, and more funerals on Zoom are expected to accompany the move to alert level 2 in all areas excluding Auckland.
But a kaumatua said it had always been a matter of "when" not "if" the country would have community cases and urged everyone to remain calm.
Four cases of Covid-19 with no known source have been confirmed this week and two of those cases travelled to Rotorua while showing virus symptoms.
The Ministry of Health is working to establish where they visited in Rotorua.
A Lakes District Health Board spokeswoman said yesterday afternoon there were no suspected cases in the city.
Rotorua currently had three managed isolation facilities and there were no plans to open more, a managed isolation and quarantine spokesman said.
He said where a returnee was placed depended on capacity, and the change in alert level would not affect how the system operated.
Waiariki Women's Refuge manager Paula Coker feared there could be a surge in violence should restrictions tighten, which she suspected they would.
"We've been extremely busy lately and it's only going to rise."
The complexities of family violence of basic needs not being met, financial struggles, and women becoming more isolated would result in a spike in violence, she said.
She had concerns about women being isolated and unable to reach out for support and the possibility of overflowing safe houses.
Coker said the refuge managed well during lockdown but relied heavily on police to help move women and children to safety.
Tiny Deane, who runs Visions of a Helping Hand Trust, which has the contract to look after homeless people in Tuscany Villas and Emerald Spa Resort on Fenton St, said they had made some changes.
He said cleaners and security staff now wore gloves, and face masks had been made available. There was also contact tracing.
Those staying in the motels were practising social distancing and had been reminded not to share cigarettes or pick up cigarette butts off the ground.
Collingwood Funeral Home owner Todd Gower said many of their funerals would not top the 100-person limit on crowds and the first lockdown kickstarted the popularity of technology and live streaming services.
He said if the restrictions were to tighten, families would once again be unable to grieve in their own way.
"In the back of everyone's mind, we knew there was a possibility of this happening.
"We've been here before, we know we can do it. Let's do it again."
BestStart deputy chief executive Fiona Hughes said staff were surprised to be back at level 2 but "swung into action having had prior experience".
Hughes said level 2 policy and procedures had been sent to centres and the Ministry of Education had released guidelines.
"We are encouraging distancing, promoting good hand-washing practices and managing other health and safety expectations."
Kaumatua Monty Morrison said it was impossible to speculate what the changes would mean for Rotorua but it was important to remember "our kete of knowledge" built up over the past months.
"The best thing we can do right now for our community and our economy is to take all appropriate measures so that we can return to level 1.
"Covid-19 is a fast-moving virus and we need to be agile in our defence. It is up to us to practise the recommended hygiene measures and follow the Government's advice."
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said the community needed to remain vigilant and focus on "getting through as quickly as possible".
"The re-emergence of community transmission is obviously a blow at a time New Zealand is trying to re-ignite economy," she said.
"But we always knew it would be a long game.
"This is an anxious time but, as before, we need to be guided by the experts who are leading the national response.
"This is about community resilience, we need to work together, activate our networks, and look after each other."
All New Zealand rest homes had moved to alert level 4, meaning strict lockdowns and barring family visitors, Aged Care Association chief executive Simon Wallace said.
A Foodstuffs spokeswoman said there would be increased sanitisation and safety measures for customers in place.
She reinforced the need to shop normally, which was the best way to ensure there was no pressure on the supply chain.
She said Foodstuffs had good stocks of PPE and hand sanitiser, and teams were familiar with what was required to keep themselves and customers safe.
"Our supply chain is robust. We are working hard to make sure all the grocery items New Zealand households might need are on the shelf and readily available."
A Countdown media spokeswoman said there would be limits on products including one mask, six beer or wine and three each of flour, rice, pasta, baked beans and spaghetti, UHT milk, frozen vegetables, toilet paper, paper towels, personal wash, hand sanitiser, paracetamol, household cleaner, sanitary items and baby formula.
What are your thoughts about possible community transmission in New Zealand and the move to level 2?
I think it's disgusting. We all worked so hard. I have a holiday planned down South next month like many others but who knows if that will happen. Hopefully there isn't another lockdown!
Wendy Hanson, 55, Central Rotorua
It could be anywhere around the country now. It's scary, I won't be travelling for a while that's for sure.
John Pumaris, 25, Pukehangi
I'm definitely gutted. I had really hoped to go to the Cook Islands this year. It is really scary for my family too.
Owen Ona, 25, Malfroy
I agree with what Judith Collins said. It must have come from the border! I don't think the news has set in for me yet. I've been quite blase about the whole thing.
Karen Morton, 56, Tauranga