You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Police stopped eight groups of travellers who were driving north and turned them back to Christchurch on Thursday morning.
It was at a checkpoint on SH6, south of Murchison, where police were checking all vehicles to ensure those on the road were undertaking essential travel.
Checkpoints will be put in place across NZ over the Easter weekend to stop non-essential travel - with locations will be revealed tomorrow.
Said a police spokesperson: "The message is clear stay home and save lives, now is not the time for non-essential travel.
"It’s simple - travelling to and from different towns and cities risks spreading Covid-19, and puts lives at risk.
"Travelling to the bach for a holiday is not essential travel and it is not permitted."
Police’s first step will be to educate, but if people continue to break the rules, they will use their discretion to warn people, or if necessary, make arrests.