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Jacinda Ardern Praised For Cancelling Wedding Amid Omicron Wave

Cameron Frew

Published 
| Last updated 

Jacinda Ardern Praised For Cancelling Wedding Amid Omicron Wave

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

The New Zealand prime minister introduced restrictions after an outbreak of Omicron. (Alamy)
The New Zealand prime minister introduced restrictions after an outbreak of Omicron. (Alamy)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been commended for cancelling her wedding amid new COVID-19 restrictions due to an outbreak of Omicron.

New Zealand ranks among the most diligent nations during the coronavirus pandemic. From the off, the PM claimed to have the 'widest ranging and toughest border restrictions of any country in the world', and Ardern has never been hesitant to place the country under strict restrictions in the event of fresh case numbers.

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Over the course of the pandemic, New Zealand has recorded a total of 15,104 cases and 52 deaths. However, after managing to avoid the Omicron variant, a cluster of nine cases has led to restrictions being reintroduced from Monday, January 24.

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The Omicron variant was detected in a family who had attended a wedding in Auckland before returning home to the South Island, where they tested positive, as well as a flight attendant.

The 'red setting' restrictions include mandatory mask-wearing in shops and public transport, vaccine passports for entry to the majority of non-essential businesses, and limits on social gatherings; more specifically, a cap of 100 vaccinated people at events like weddings.

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As a result, Ardern has postponed her wedding with Clarke Gayford. 'Such is life,' the PM said, as per Sky News.

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'I am no different to, dare I say it, thousands of other New Zealanders who have had much more devastating impacts felt by the pandemic, the most gutting of which is the inability to be with a loved one sometimes when they are gravely ill. That will far, far outstrip any sadness I experience,' she added.



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This does not echo the recent woes of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who defended his appearance at a 'bring your own booze' garden party during the height of lockdown by saying 'nobody told' him it was against the rules.

Her actions have been praised and contrasted with the UK's 'Partygate' scandal online. 'A reminder Jacinda Ardern & ministers took a pay cut in solidarity with those hit by COVID. Today the PM cancelled her wedding in another act of solidarity. Contrast this with the rule-breaking UK PM Boris Johnston. Clear, decisive and empathetic leadership saves lives,' one user wrote.


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'Boris Johnson has a party, Jacinda Ardern cancels her wedding – I know who I'd rather have in charge during a pandemic,' a second wrote. 'New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern cancels wedding amid Omicron wave. Would Boris Johnson have done the same if he was in the same position? No. Hell No. F*ck No,' a third tweeted.

Ardern also insisted 'red is not lockdown', explaining, 'Our plan for managing Omicron cases in the early stage remains the same as Delta, where we will rapidly test, contact trace and isolate cases and contacts in order to slow the spread.'

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Topics: News, New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, Coronavirus

Cameron Frew
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