A grocery store in the Auckland suburb of Remuera has implemented a 'no mask, no entry' policy "for the safety of the people", according to its manager.
Meet the Meat, a small business specialising in Asian cuisine, is refusing to allow customers inside without a face mask in a bid to protect the community.
The door to the Remuera Road store is emblazoned with the signs: "No mask, no inside. Take one for free!"
Speaking to Newshub, Meet the Meat's manager confirmed the grocery is also offering free masks to people who aren't carrying a face covering.
"We give out masks for free, for the safety of the people," he said.
Although there is currently no mandate requiring New Zealanders to wear masks in public, face coverings are compulsory on passenger flights throughout the country and on public transport - including buses and trains - in, into and out of the Auckland region. Drivers who work for taxi companies or ride-share services, such as Uber, are also required to wear masks in Auckland.
The grocery's initiative follows a series of warnings by health officials calling for increased vigilance, with three new community cases reported in the last week. The public has been urged not to get complacent and to continue adhering to basic public health measures, such as maintaining good hand hygiene and using the NZ COVID Tracer app to track movements.
Last Sunday, it was revealed that a Northland woman had tested positive after leaving the Pullman Hotel, an Auckland managed isolation facility. The woman had visited a number of locations in the Northland region and Helensville. Days later, it was announced that two people had also tested positive after being released from the Pullman Hotel on the same day as the woman. The two cases, an adult and child from the same family, have been residing in North Auckland and visited a number of businesses in Orewa and Albany before testing positive.
So far, no evidence of community transmission has been found, and genomic sequencing indicates the two new cases are linked to the Northland woman - suggesting all three became infected at the Pullman Hotel.
According to the Ministry of Health, a mask or face covering must cover both the nose and mouth. It's important not to touch the mask or face covering during use. Before removing the mask or putting it back on, it's important to wash or sanitise the hands to ensure no bacteria is transferred to the face.
Although masks are not mandatory on public transport outside of Auckland, New Zealanders are still encouraged to use them.