Roads were busy as the nation prepared to go into lockdown last night, and video shows that roads out of Auckland were packed with those fleeing the Super City.
Video supplied to the Herald shows a steady stream of vehicles heading north at Puhoi at 9.30pm, with many appearing to ignore the official advice to stay at home.
Unlike previous lockdowns the entire country is in level 4, so those leaving Auckland are not able to enjoy fewer restrictions elsewhere.
The footage was taken by a truckie, who was audibly shocked by what he saw.
“F***ing hell, I think 12 o’clock is a bit late for the lockdown,” he says as the camera captures a flood of headlights heading north.
His wife, who supplied the video to the Herald, said that she was told that numerous people were towing boats, jet skis and caravans.
“It’s not a long weekend holiday,” she said.
What are the rules under Level 4?
NZ went into lockdown for three days from midnight last night, with Auckland and Coromandel expected to be in lockdown for seven days. The rest of the country will be locked down for at least three days.
Level four – dubbed the “eliminate” phase – means people must stay at home in their bubbles – travelling out only for essential personal movement.
Essential reasons for leaving the home briefly include:
• Exercise in your neighbourhood
• Visiting the supermarket, dairy or pharmacy
• Necessary medical care or getting a test
Level 4 measures
• People are instructed to stay at home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement
• Safe recreational activity is allowed in local area
• Travel is severely limited
• All gatherings are cancelled and all public venues are closed
• Businesses are closed except for essential services, such as supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, petrol stations and lifeline utilities
• Educational facilities are closed
• Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities is possible
• Reprioritisation of healthcare services
Meanwhile, on the Coromandel locals are working with police at a checkpoint, blocking traffic.
The checkpoint at Manaia was originally set up by residents to keep fleeing Aucklanders at bay.
Tensions were high last night when locals set up the road block after it was announced a Covid-19 positive Devonport man and his wife visited Coromandel town at the weekend.
Fortunately the 58-year-old was an avid contact tracer, which had allowed health officials to reel off about a dozen places of interest visited by the couple.
However, the visit immediately sparked concern, with residents annoyed at the number of Aucklanders – who own property on the peninsula – fleeing to the popular tourist spot.
Residents talked of “tempers escalating” as those wanting to get through were being forced to show proof that they lived on the peninsula, sparking a police call-out.
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