Impact of Auckland's COVID-19 alert level extension being felt by tourism operators across the country

The impact of Auckland's alert level 3 lockdown restrictions is being felt right across the country as struggling tourism operators prepare for a longer fight.

On Monday Prime MInister Jacinda Ardern extended the city's lockdown for a further four days to ensure the move to alert level 2 was the correct one.

The rest of New Zealand will remain at alert level 2.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts says he understands why the decision has been made, but knows it will put "a heavy burden on the shoulders of tourism operators".

"This is not just an Auckland story, certainly Auckland has the greatest restrictions but  the impact for tourism is being felt right along the country," he told Newshub on Tuesday. 

Roberts described the extension as "another blow" for the already struggling sector.

"Every time they're about to get off the canvas another blow comes and knocks them down so it's really rough for tourism operators at the moment."

Despite his disappointment at the extension of restrictions Roberts says he knows it's the right choice to keep New Zealand safe.

"The extension of the alert levels is to protect the health of New Zealanders but it's going to be felt right around the country."

It's an opinion shared by Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins, whose city is suffering the impact of Auckland's lockdown too.

"Limitations in Aucklanders moving around has implications for the rest of the coutry," he told Newhsub.

"We're very close and were all related so the fallout doesn't end at the Bombay Hills."

However Hawkins added all one has to do to understand the need for restrictions is look further afield to places like Melbourne which did not get its outbreak under control in time.

The state of Victoria had a massive outbreak of the virus which resulted in  18,330 cases and 430 deaths.

"[That] shows what happens if you don't get on top of an outbreak of COVID-19," said Hawkins.

There are 123 active cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, with nine new cases recorded on Monday. Twenty-two people have died from the virus.