Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall is asking people to treat the move down to Covid-19 alert level 1 as if it was level 1.5.
After spending the past three days in alert level 2, the Government announced on Wednesday evening New Zealand would move to level 1. Auckland moved from level 3 to level 2.
Mayor Hamish McDouall said the move showed the Government had confidence in its systems.
"I don't have all the evidence that Cabinet has, but they have confidence in their contact tracing and genome sequencing systems," he said.
McDouall applauded the community's quick change in mindset when the country moved to level 2.
"I walked into a retailer on Monday and they were all ready to go and set up. It was great to see."
He asked everyone to treat the move as if it was 1.5, urging everyone to stay on top of personal hygiene like washing hands and coughing into their elbow.
"We are in uncertain times and we need to be ready and nimble to make adjustments."
Locals flocked to the testing facilities after Sunday's announcement, with 268 people across the Whanganui District Health Board region taking the test on Monday, 61 tested on Tuesday and another 44 on Wednesday.
DHB chief executive Russell Simpson acknowledged that changes in alert levels and reports of community cases were unsettling but said the DHB had a pandemic plan in place.
"It is important that people remain vigilant and follow good hygiene and safety practices – handwashing, coughing and sneezing into their elbows, and scanning QR codes," he said.
He reminded people to stay home if they were unwell and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and get advice. Anyone with symptoms should get a test, he added.
"People should also seek medical attention if they need it, as Whanganui Hospital and all our services are functioning as normal."
Chairman of Ngā Tāngata Tiaki o Whanganui Gerrard Albert urged the community to stay alert despite the level change.
"We would like to see people maintaining a level 3 or 4 mentality in our region," he said.
"We need to think and act with the safety of our community uppermost in mind - each of us can do our bit to protect each other."
Whanganui MP Steph Lewis said she trusted in the systems and said the move to level 1 was the right one.
"I trust the health experts, they have got us this far. We are considered to be world leaders when it comes to the response.
"It's not to say everything has gone well or smoothly and that things can't be improved.
"What is reassuring, is the extensive testing that has been done since the announcement on Sunday, including the testing of wastewater as an extra precaution.
"The three new cases were already in isolation as they knew they were close contacts."
McDouall said he felt sorry for Aucklanders who had to move into level 3 again.
"I was talking to my sister who lives up there, and they are just so used to having to be ready to move. The disruption it causes the community, to school and university students, it can't be overlooked."
He said he had made a call to Napier mayor Kirsten Wise, after their town was forced to abandon their Art Deco Festival this coming weekend.
"I just felt so sorry. We were fortunate to have Vintage Weekend run without a hiccup."
Lewis urged people to continue to be cautious and take personal responsibility.
"This is a virus. It's not something we can see and has only existed for just over 12 months, we are still learning more about it."
McDouall touched on the vaccine rollout set to take place this weekend, urging the importance to vaccinate frontline health workers and the vulnerable.
"That will provide a whole other level of protection and safety."