'What a morning': Maccas mayhem in New Zealand after lockdown eases

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

As New Zealand eased its stringent coronavirus lockdown measures on Tuesday, fast food lovers who’d been deprived of their favourite feasts for over a month flocked to McDonald’s stores across the country.

Despite most stores opening at 5am, many eager customers arrived hours earlier to ensure they could get their hands on Maccas’ signature meals albeit from a limited menu.

Under the government’s eradication strategy, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had implemented its strictest restrictions over the last five weeks where among other restrictions all restaurants were banned from operating, including takeaway.

Images shared on Twitter show the lengthy queues that developed in the dark of night outside several stores where Drive-Thru was due to recommence.

Others took to social media to reveal their delight.

Hutt South MP Chris Bishop shared photos from his drive-thru trip, which featured wide smiles and McDonald’s popular hash browns.

“What a morning,” he said.

One Auckland resident shared a photo of multiple cars backed up early on Tuesday morning at Manukau in the city’s south.

Several customers tuck in to their McDonald's. Source: NZ Herald Focus Live

In New Plymouth, the local McDonald’s store had customers waiting in line at the drive-through from 3:30am, according to Radio NZ.

There were around 40 cars in a row, snaking outside the facility, when the store actually opened at 5am.

Journalist Tim Murphy shared an image of an order from three people in a car which totalled $180.50.

“The 3 young guys in the car ahead of me had been missin’ it....” he explained.

Not all shared the same enthusiasm as those who headed out for an early morning feed, with one commenting the sight of queues outside McDonald’s was a “sad state of affairs”.

The return to level three restrictions meant many New Zealanders returned to work while surfing also returned.

Restaurants are allowed to reopen for takeaway only but must avoid face-to-face contact.

This week has seen several states across Australia reveal their plans to relax restrictions, including NSW who will ease its house visiting rules by allowing two people into a household for social visits.

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