Rotorua business leaders are concerned what effect remaining in lockdown could have on the economy as the Government is due to decide today when to move out of alert level 4.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bryce Heard said he was expecting it would take "a very long time" for Rotorua to recover from the lockdown, as it relied heavily on both domestic and international tourism.
Another tourism provider said recovery would "literally take years".
Heard said the possible return to work of the forestry and manufacturing industries in level 3 would be "a big step" for the city.
"Those are two important industries to get the wheels turning again."
He also said the farming industry had been "ticking along quietly in the background" during the lockdown but it wasn't likely anything would happen in the tourism industry for a while.
Moving to level 3 would be "a positive step", Heard said.
"If the Government do it - let's presume they do - we should be cautiously getting back to normal as best we can. It's a difficult situation.
"We'll manage it pretty well, as long as everyone keeps on playing the game."
This meant possibly thinking "laterally" about the future of certain industries in Rotorua, he said.
"There'll be border constraints, and that'll affect our tourism ... That flows on to all the cafes and restaurants and retail and everything else."
Tak Mutu, owner of Mountain Bike Rotorua and MDA Experiences, said Rotorua's tourism industry would "literally take years" to come back to how it was before the Covid-19 lockdown.
"Obviously level 4 has been pretty catastrophic for tourism ... our revenue has gone down to almost zero, so trying to pay staff is pretty difficult," he said.
"We've got no income coming in."
But despite the loss in income, Mutu thinks that going to level 4 was "the right call".
"Business owners will need to make some pretty tough calls over the next couple of months."
Level 3 would not bring a significant increase in revenue for the business but in "an effort to save jobs" they would be opening an online store, Mutu said.
The online store would be contactless and deliver directly from the warehouse to the customer, he said.
Sharon Wallace, president of the Rotorua branch of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, said it was "too early" for the industry to be assessing the outcome of the lockdown on their businesses.
"Industries are trying to wrap their heads around what they should do," she said.
Wallace also said there were concerns around what "contactless delivery" at level 3 would mean for businesses.
"If they have not already been set up as takeaways in the past, this would not prove financially viable for them and predicting the demand at this level could also be disastrous financially as the revenue generated won't cover their costs."
Hospitality and tourism went "hand-in-hand", Wallace said, and these were "very difficult times" for both sectors.
Rene Allen of Rotorua's Allen Building Services said they would be able to do "some work" if the lockdown ended and the country went to level 3.
However, it would simply be finishing jobs started before the lockdown, he said.
"We can go forward providing we put special measures in place and abide by what the requirements are," he said.
He "didn't know what to expect" as work would depend on whether clients could continue the projects.
He said several others in the construction industry were in the same boat.
"We're unsure as to whether we would carry on, but we can't answer that until we get into it."