Coronavirus: Whangarei's mayor pleads for woman who travelled Northland with COVID case to come forward

Whangarei's mayor is pleading with a woman who travelled throughout Northland with a COVID case to come forward.

The region's been in a snap level 3 lockdown because they visited multiple towns over five days.

Northland has been plunged into alert level 3. The tougher restrictions are all because a woman used forged documents to cross the border from Auckland and travel with a companion. The news has enraged Northlanders.

"Just f***ing idiots really," one person told Newshub.

"She has affected a lot of people, both of them have," another said.

The positive case has since returned to Auckland but she's been uncooperative, not telling contact tracers where she's been or who she's been in contact with.

"We do have to think about if we do have cases here we could be in lockdown for a very long time," Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai says.

The search is still on for her travel companion. There's concern she too has the virus.

"Please come forward. Really important because they'll have information people want and need to be able to respond appropriately," Mai says.

Parts of Whangarei, Paihia and Kawakawa are on high alert. The positive woman moved extensively around the region within the last week.  An iwi roadblock is now restricting movement into the Far North.

"We have this irresponsible person - whoever, wherever the background is - that comes and destroys all we've worked for over the last couple of months. It's frustrating as all hell," Far North Mayor John Carter says.

Small businesses aren't impressed either.

"When you have careless people who have zero consequence of what's gonna happen to a community, then yeah of course I'm annoyed," cafe owner Cathryn Baragwanath says.

A Whangarei hotel is now a location of interest and so is the DoC campsite south of the city at Uretiti Beach. Campers have been told to keep an eye on symptoms and get tested if they develop.

Vaccinators have swung into action with a drive-through site set up at Semenoff Stadium this weekend.

The fear of the virus spreading seems to be the push many needed. Within the first hour, 120 people were vaccinated and the number climbed to 500 by lunchtime. Organisers want to get through 800 people by the end of the day.

"It really worries me that we haven't got higher rates of vaccination so I really want to encourage people to come. Just come, we've got such a neat team working here, everyone comes out with a smile on their face even if they've been worried coming in," says vaccine site coordinator Anna Rooney.

Testing sites were busy on Saturday too. Northland has so far managed to keep Delta at bay and they don't want that to change.