Air New Zealand has made face masks compulsory on all flights departing from Auckland, and closed its lounges in the city.

The airline said it was reviewing its services following the New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement yesterday that the Auckland Region will enter Covid-19 Alert Level 3 starting from 12.00pm (local time) Wednesday August 12, for a period of at least three days, while the rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2.

From 12.00 pm today (August 12), Air New Zealand’s Auckland lounges and valet parking will close.

The carrier says its front of house employees and domestic cabin crew will wear masks and gloves, and pilots will wear masks when interacting with customers or walking through the terminal.

Customers on flights departing from Auckland will be also be required to wear masks. The airline says passengers are “welcome to bring their own” or these will be provided by the airline onboard.

“Air New Zealand recommends that its customers traveling from other ports also wear masks, however this will not be a requirement,” reads a statement from the carrier.

Passengers with tickets on a domestic flight within New Zealand and are scheduled to depart before 11.59 pm on Sunday August 16 can choose to hold their fare in credit through the airline’s online booking tool, says Air New Zealand.

Those who are unable to manage their booking online and no longer wish to travel “do not need to contact Air New Zealand immediately or prior to their flight’s departure”. The airline says they will be assisted “at a later date” to find an alternative flight option or be provided with a credit note.

“The Air New Zealand contact centre and social media team are currently experiencing very high demand. Air New Zealand is grateful to customers for their patience while it works through these changes,” reads a statement from the airline.