Prime minister cancels wedding due to Omicron curbs — Analysis
‘Such is life,’ New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern said as she announced the decision
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has called off her wedding as the island nation is set to introduce the highest ‘red light’ restrictions in order to stem the spread of the super-mutant Omicron variant of Covid-19.
The country was about to increase anti-coronavirus protections starting at 11.59pm Sunday. Its prime minister declared that she would cancel her planned wedding.
Clarke Gayford and Ardern have a daughter. New Zealand lies in the Southern Hemisphere. This means that it has summer months of December, January, and February.
Speaking at a regular Covid-19 briefing, she noted that the ‘red light’ status limited weddings, birthdays and other gatherings to 100 people for the vaccinated and to 25 people for the unvaccinated.
“As for mine, my wedding won’t be going ahead but I just join many other New Zealanders who have had an experience like that as a result of the pandemic. And to anyone caught up in that scenario, I am so sorry, but we are all so resilient and I know we understand we are doing this for one another and it will help us carry on,”Ardern stated.
She responded to a question about her feelings about cancelling the contract at 41 years old: “Such is life. I am no different to, dare I say, thousands of other New Zealanders.”
Ardern apparently doesn’t want to be like her British counterpart Boris Johnson. Johnson is currently under pressure to quit after being accused of attending parties that were in contravention of Covid-19.
New Zealand, which cut itself off from the rest of the world during the Covid-19 pandemic and managed avoid a major spike in cases from the Delta strain, decided to move the ‘red light’ status after nine Omicron cases were discovered in the town of Motueka on the western shore of Tasman Bay.
These nine infections were contracted by the same person who was traveling to Auckland for a family wedding, funeral and amusement park.
Ardern indicated that Omicron is currently spreading in Auckland, and perhaps the Nelson, but he refused to exclude the possibility that it could have spread into other parts of the country.