There were 14 new cases of COVID-19 in the community on Tuesday, all in Auckland or Upper Hauraki. Video / Dean Purcell / Jason Oxenham / Mark Mitchell
Auckland officially went to Alert Level 3 at midnight – and some townspeople immediately celebrated with coffees and takeaways.
From 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, the city went to level 3 for two weeks. The rest of New Zealand – apart from a small pocket of Waikato at “bespoke level 4” – remains at level 2.
There were about 80 cars lined up for McDonald’s on Lincoln Road just after 12:30 a.m.
The queue was so long that it spilled over onto Lincoln Road and filled the parking lot.
Elaichi – a cafe in Sandringham – opened at midnight, with four people lining up for a hot drink and a bite to eat.
Cafe worker Mahiam Sen said the company decided to open after conducting a survey on its social media.
The shop has vegetarian and vegan snacks, hot drinks and Indian snacks on the menu.
At 12:07 am the cafe had two orders.
Jay Bahn decided to leave after missing his coffee for the past five weeks.
“I’m just excited to have coffee,” he said.
Bhan’s mother made sure that before he left the house he took note of her order – a cappuccino and some Indian snacks.
Afnan Haider and Maisam Abbas – from Glen Eden Kabab on Glendale Rd to Glen Eden – also opened to the public at midnight.
They described Level 4 foreclosure as extremely difficult for their small business.
A West Auckland resident arrived at McDonald’s on Lincoln Road just after 11 p.m. to wait for a late-night snack. They weren’t alone – at 11:30 p.m., at least five more vehicles were waiting for the drive-thru open at midnight.
“We just came for a meal,” she said.
“The masses will be out tomorrow, so we thought we could get in when we can, while everyone is asleep.”
Meanwhile, a number of cars drove to McDonald’s Mt Roskill only to find the store was not open. A sign stuck to one of the windows says the fast food store will open at 6 a.m.
McDonald’s says exactly when its restaurants open in Auckland will depend on how quickly everyone can get everything back on track.
Some had to have food ready to go shortly after midnight, but others would not open until 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. today.
“About 50 Auckland restaurants will operate to open all night and before 7 a.m., and will initially operate with a small menu,” a spokesperson told The Herald yesterday.
Part of the preparation was around traffic management, the spokesperson said, acknowledging high levels of traffic congestion in and around takeout stores after the previous Level 4 lockdown.
West Auckland KFC enthusiasts may have to wait until the morning for their fix, but KFC Lincoln Road has road cones in place to help with overflows.
Those going to the local drive-thru are asked to remember to wear a mask.
“Level 4 did the job we needed. Level 3 is not opening,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday.
“Level 3 is always ‘stamp it’.”
While cafes, restaurants and takeaways can open at level 3, all purchases, withdrawals and deliveries must be contactless.
Small events like weddings and tangihanga are now allowed at level 3, with a maximum of 10 people only.
Level 3 also brings good news to the avid surfer or mountain biker. Activities such as surfing, tramping, horseback riding and mountain biking are allowed at level 3, provided you are experienced – and local.
If you’re heading to KFC, Pizza Hut, Carl’s Jnr, and Taco Bell, don’t forget your Eftpos card. They will not accept cash below Alert Level 3.
KFC will offer a slightly reduced menu, a spokesperson for Restaurant Brands said.
“The burgers will be phased in over the next few days. This is simply due to the delays in product delivery,” he said.
Domino’s Pizza is celebrating Auckland’s move to level 3 by giving customers a free lava cake with every delivery order of $ 20 and up tomorrow.
Company chief executive Cameron Toomey said they wanted to celebrate and recognize the efforts Aucklanders have made in recent weeks to help control the spread of Covid-19.
One punter is so eager to get his hands on some fried chicken that he pitched a tent on the grass early last night next to the KFC Papakura in an effort to get in front of the line.
A video posted on TikTok shows a small blue tent a few feet from the drive-thru speaker.
“People are camping while waiting for KFC to open tomorrow,” said the woman who was filming the video. “Bring to level 3!” “
Aucklander’s hungry movement has lit social media, and many have dived in to poke fun at those desperate for take-out.
KFC’s call was too much for some. Two gang associates were arrested this week on the southern Auckland border with a boot full of KFCs trying to get back to Auckland.
Officers were suspicious of a vehicle on a gravel road and turned around before rushing off, trying to evade the police.
The vehicle eventually stopped and police discovered he was coming from Hamilton in an attempt to enter Auckland, a police spokesperson said.