A pair of Mexican tourists who had just arrived in New Zealand but not self-isolated have been turned away from a popular Rotorua campground.
Blue Lake Top 10 Holiday Park manager Kelsi Hira said the two men arrived last night and were swiftly turned away after their passports proved they had only arrived in the country hours before.
Hira said the tourists claimed to be "unaware of self-isolation" rules and were adamant that they had "not been told".
The pair were provided with an information pack about Covid-19, self-isolation rules and were guided towards freedom camping sites, she said.
Police were also notified so they could keep an eye out for the pair and their number plates, which would be the case for all self-isolating tourists, she said.
Hira said all would-be guests who arrived after the self-isolation rules were imposed would be treated the same.
The park was checking every guest's passport to confirm when they entered New Zealand and whether they needed to be in self-isolation, she said.
Hira said the men were "not happy about it" but she reassured them they would be fully refunded.
The men wanted to stay in the office and talk with staff about it, but for safety reasons they were asked to leave, she said.
"They were very confused."
The park put a sign on their door saying that if they had arrived in the country after midnight on Sunday, they needed to let reception staff know.
Hira said the number of cancellations their campground and many others in the city had faced since the new rules came into effect was "huge", she said.
With large scale events being called off, she said business was taking a huge hit.
Thankfully, a lot of their business was from Kiwi holidaymakers but the tourism industry as a whole was "really feeling it", she said.
The Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said several thousand passengers arrived on flights into New Zealand since the new self-isolation rules came into force at 1am yesterday.He said the self-isolation process was a "high trust arrangement".
People entering New Zealand were made aware of the rules and asked to fill out health cards with a telephone follow-up after leaving the airport. They were also establishing spot checks to ensure people were in fact in self-isolation, he said.
"The Medical Officers of Health can require people to be in self-isolation if there is a public health risk and can call on the police to assist in enforcing that."
Fines were also being considered for people who did not comply.