Coronavirus: More than 2000 Kiwis caught flouting lockdown rules as alert level 3 draws closer

Police don't know what kind of powers they will have under COVID-19 alert level 3 to stop and prosecute anyone breaking the rules. 

Already more and more people are being caught flouting the rules as they become complacent and closer to life at level 3. 

On Tuesday morning at Mission Bay, two bubbles were caught far from home. Coughing and wandering the streets, Sarah Milne was given a warning alongside her friend and sent home. 

"If we catch you again, we might prosecute you," police told the wanderers.

And they're not the only ones that police keep finding flouting the stay home rules. At one Auckland checkpoint, Marek did have a reason - it just wasn't a very good one.

"[I was] trying to find some duck for dinner for me and my partner," he told Newshub. "Wanted to do a date at home but couldn't find duck anywhere - so yeah, I was busted."

Most people can prove they've got a reason to be on the roads, but there's some who try their luck, telling police a range of excuses from painting the house to lying about going to the supermarket. 

Anyone police catch constantly breaking the rules is given a written warning.

In the first three weeks, 1200 were handed out, but in the last week alone that's more than doubled to over 2000. 

Police have been given special powers to stop people and ask where they've been and where they're going, but they don't know if they have those powers at alert level 3.

This only adds to the risk, because they won't be able to check if people are sticking to the rules. 

While the general public knows what life will look like under level 3, police are still waiting to hear what theirs is like - and what powers, if any, come with it.