Panicked shoppers crowd Auckland supermarkets after new Covid-19 cases announced

People have rushed to supermarkets throughout Auckland after four new cases of community transmission were announced this evening.

People lined up at Countdown in Mt Wellington. Source: Supplied/Michael Griffin

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield called and impromptu press conference shortly before 9.30pm.

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There are long queues outside Auckland supermarkets, despite pleas from Jacinda Ardern and the stores themselves, reports Wilson Longhurst. Source: Breakfast

The four new cases of Covid-19 are not linked to overseas travel. They are in the same family in South Auckland.

It is the first cases of community transmission in over 100 days.

Auckland is going into Alert Level 3 lockdown from midday tomorrow, while the rest of the country will go into Level 2.

Shortly after the announcement, people flocked to supermarkets.

1 NEWS reporter Matt Manukia was at a Countdown store in Auckland's New Lynn this evening, where he said people ripped the doors open after security tried to control the amount of people rushing in.

One of the woman said she needs food for her child.

At other supermarkets in Auckland, long queues of anxious shoppers formed outside the stores. 

Countdown Mt Wellington after latest Alert Level 3 announcement. Source: Sarah Courtier

Ms Ardern and Dr Bloomfield both urged Kiwis during their press conference not to panic buy. As they said repeatedly during the initial nationwide lockdown, there is not expected to be shortages on food or supplies. 

People lined outside Countdown on Quay Street. Source: 1 NEWS

Both Countdown and Foodstuffs issued statements later in the night, confirming that their stores are well stocked.

"We would like to assure customers that, just like before, our supply chain is robust," said Foodstuffs, which owns New World and Pak'nSave stores. "Just buy what you need, as you need it."

Countdown officials said their stores are "well practiced in what needs to be done" under Alert Level 3.

"We echo the Prime Minister's comments that there is no need at all for anyone to stock up - we have plenty of food and supplies for everyone and we want everyone to shop as they usually wood and consider others.

"We have done this before and we can do it again - look out for each other, be kind and stay safe."