Coronavirus: New Zealanders panic-buy before COVID-19 lockdown

New Zealanders reacted to the news of a lockdown by panic-buying at petrol stations and supermarkets on Monday afternoon.

It came after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the COVID-19 alert level had been raised to level 3, with set plans for it to reach level 4 in 48 hours.

All non-essential services will now close for at least four weeks, which caused Kiwis to flock to supermarkets and panic-buy items.

There were queues out the door with limits on the number of people allowed in. And preparing for at least one month in isolation requires a little creativity.

"We went and bought arts and crafts to keep us busy over the next wee while. Some knitting needles, some clay," one person said.

While supermarkets remain open, the stunned hospitality industry is now paralysed effective immediately.

Auckland restaurant owner Phil Clark told Newshub it was "a disaster" to see restaurants shut, but they're all in this together.

"Staff have gone home already. We've just got to tidy up, take fridges and everything apart."

Liam Armstrong from Christchurch's General Pants Co clothing shop summed up the feeling for most. 

"It's just weird is the best way to describe it. Confused, I guess, I'm sure everything will suss itself out."

Every New Zealander being asked to unite in a way that will mean some not seeing each other for weeks, or maybe months.