There's been a marked increase in the number of people using the Covid-19 tracer app in Whanganui since the community outbreak of Covid-19 in Auckland.
Pharmacist Evan Lee at Pharmacy 145 said barely 10 per cent of customers last week had bothered to scan into the store using the app. Earlier his week, when Auckland moved to alert level 3 and the rest of New Zealand to level 2, that figure shot up.
"A lot of people are scanning in. At least 80 per cent at this point. It's much, much higher than it has been. It was really the old faithful that scanned in prior."
Lee said face masks weren't in high demand.
"We are not actually selling too many. We've got a good supply of masks, but people don't seem to be buying them too often.
"Not many people are coming in wearing masks either. Probably less than 10 over the last few days,"
Last November Majestic Square Ice Cream Shop and Dairy owner Akshit Dhawan said only 20 to 40 per cent of shoppers were scanning in. This week, it's been upwards of 80.
"People are realising they need to take precautions to stay safe," Dhawan said.
"Most customers are scanning in. There's the odd one that doesn't, but usually they're okay at doing it these last few days."
Scanning in with the Covid Tracer App isn't possible for everyone though. One person said they were worried that stores aren't considering older people without smartphones within their contract tracing procedures.
"I don't have a smartphone, so I try and write in when I'm out in town," Peter Williams said.
"I get a little bit worried when shops don't have contact tracing books. We have asked them, but they assume everybody has a smartphone. If it keeps on going like this I better get a smartphone, I didn't even have an ordinary phone until a few years ago."
At Whanganui District Library yesterday morning, a staff member was manning the door, ensuring everyone entering and exiting the building was scanning in and sanitising.
The dedicated staff member had a digital spreadsheet recording the details of everyone entering the library without a smartphone, so the library had a detailed contact tracing record.
The staff member said most people had been compliant, with only a few attempting to dodge giving their details.
"Some people try to sneak past and don't want to give details, but the majority are really compliant.
"Generally people are good. We're here making sure people are signing in."
Rangitīkei mayor Andy Watson said locals seemed to be generally compliant when it came to the new restrictions.
"It's a timely reminder that we could have somebody move through our district like we did in New Plymouth and we'd need the background contact tracing info to stay safe," Watson said.
"It's important that people scan, scan and scan. Whenever you are visiting somewhere, it's fundamental that people scan."
Supermarkets across Whanganui are working to implement social distancing requirements as a result of level 2 restrictions.
While there is no official government direction on the number of customers permitted in a supermarket during level 2, many supermarkets are implementing their own policies.
Pak'nSave's website says "stores will be limiting the number of customers allowed in-store at any given time" nationwide as a result of level 2 restrictions.
"Pak'nSave Whanganui is operating under level 2 guidelines with social distance measures in place, QR codes upon entrance and at checkouts, perspex screens and heightened cleaning and sanitisation protocols," the supermarket said in a statement.
The supermarket said it is restricting customer numbers throughout the duration of level 2.
"The team conducts frequent customer counts throughout the day. The store then matches this count with actual till customer counts to get a second reference point."
Countdown also states on its website that under alert level 2 it will be "limiting the number of people in our stores at any one time".
There were no staff at the company's Victoria Ave store entrance to monitor customer numbers on Tuesday morning. In a statement, Countdown said it had contacted the store to convey the company's nationwide policy.
"We've followed this up with the store and our operations team and have reiterated that our policy under both alert levels 2 and 3 is to have greeters on during trading hours, not just peak shopping hours," the spokesperson said.
"We absolutely agree that our Covid processes should help ensure customers can maintain physical distancing from each other easily."