Calls to seal South Island off to keep COVID out

There are still no cases of COVID detected in the South Island, but as locations of interest increase so does the likelihood of the virus crossing the Cook Strait.

As South Islanders sit at home watching cases balloon in the North, sealing off the South is looking like a good idea.

"I think so, just for the time being since all the cases are in Auckland," one person told Newshub.

"At least for next two or three day before they get more information because if it's here and we're travelling around it'll just last longer," another said.

The Prime Minister isn't ruling it out.

"If there are places in the country we are worried about we look at how we can actually implement borders around them if we need to have different alert levels so we keep all options on the table. That includes whether a barrier exists around one city or a whole island," Jacinda Ardern said.

But Westland District Mayor Bruce Smith says the horse has already bolted.

"Like the Mitre 10 celebration in Auckland, our Westport Hokitika Mitre 10 people have all been there."

He's urging people to play by the rules.

"Let's see if we can get to a point to where Government can with some degree of certainty say 'let's drop the South Island down to level 2 so normal life can continue'," he says.

But some are undoing everyone else's hard work.

Police arrested a 58-year-old man at a Christchurch Countdown last night after allegations he spat at and threatened a security guard. The man was refused entry because he wouldn't wear a face mask. He allegedly resisted arrest, during which his leg was injured, and he ended up in hospital.

The man's since been charged with assault, resisting arrest, threatening to kill and also issued an infringement notice for a COVID-19 related breach.

Police taking a hardline to help stamp out COVID quickly.

"We should not be playing games with this Delta variant. It has the potential to bite us right in the bum and we don't want that to happen," Smith says.

And no one wants that.