30 April 2020 Posted By : Julia Hollingsworth

New Zealanders are so eager to eat burgers after the coronavirus lockdown that police are having to enforce crowd control

Wellington, New Zealand (CNN)Police in New Zealand have been required to enforce crowd control measures at a popular fast food outlet after large numbers of people rushed to buy burgers following a relaxing of the country's lockdown measures on Tuesday.

New Zealand, which has reported 1,474 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases and 19 deaths, spent almost five weeks under a strict, level four lockdown. The country eased into level three restrictions on Tuesday, meaning some children could go back to school and 400,000 people were able to go back to work.

But for many, it was a chance to finally eat the fast food they had been craving. Under level three restrictions, a limited number of restaurants and cafes have been permitted to reopen. According to TVNZ, that resulted in long queues of cars at KFC and McDonald's drive-thrus outlets throughout Auckland, the country's biggest city.

And at a burger joint in Auckland, the crowds were so large that the police were called.

"We were called to a small number of incidents last night where people weren't adhering to social distancing," a police spokesperson said, adding that one was in Glenfield on Auckland's North Shore. "There was a large group congregating, police attended and education was given to ensure a better and safer process."

A spokesperson for BurgerFuel confirmed on Wednesday that police were called to the fastfood chain's Glenfield outlet, and added that police had been very helpful with controlling the large crowd.

"Day one of re-opening saw our BurgerFuel stores inundated with a stampede of customers, way beyond what we had anticipated," the spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday.

BurgerFuel will now only take orders online, and all outlets will have to have a crowd controller at the store, the spokesperson said.

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