Coronavirus: How transit through Auckland will work once rest of New Zealand enters alert level 2

As all of New Zealand outside of Auckland prepares to enter alert level 2 at 11:59pm on Tuesday, inter-regional travel will be back on the cards.

However, with Auckland still at level 4 until at least next week, it means Northland is somewhat cut off and locals have to transit through the super city to get into Waikato and the rest of the country.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says people can transit through Auckland while going from one region to another, but you need to travel through without stopping and have proof of where you're going to.

But there isn't unlimited movement, she says. If you need to travel for work, attend a funeral or tangihanga, go to a wedding or civil union, attend an education facility, or other essential reasons, then you can.

"The principle here is we want to allow those in Northland to experience level 2 the same as the rest of the country, but we do need people to play it safe and to follow the rules," Ardern said on Tuesday.

"The last thing we want is someone travelling to Auckland, picking up COVID, and taking it back to Northland with them."

But transit through Auckland won't be a "free for all" and it has been narrowed down to essential social events, work and education because they want to limit the possibility people may stop in Auckland.

"Our main focus has really been just ensuring that those who are in Northland aren't unnecessarily disadvantaged, because they are a level 2 environment just like everyone else, but they are disadvantaged by having Auckland sandwiched right in between," Ardern says.

Jacinda Ardern.
Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Getty Images

She also warns that there may be slightly more traffic at the boundaries once most of the country moves to level 2, but says police have prepared for this.

"I would just remind travellers to have the appropriate travel documents on them to speed up the process. If you don't need to travel or don't have a legitimate reason to then please don't."

In an update on Monday, police said some drivers had travelled through regional checkpoints at speeds above 100km/h.

The approach to each checkpoint has a temporary speed limit of 60km/h, which then reduces to 30km/h ahead of the checkpoint sites, a spokesperson said.

The latest numbers show more than 21,000 vehicles have been stopped at checkpoints on Auckland's northern and southern borders since level 3 came into force.

There have been a total of 841 COVID-19 cases in New Zealand's recent outbreak so far. Of these, 824 cases have been in Auckland and 17 in Wellington. A total of 146 people have recovered from the virus.