New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern cancels her wedding amid new Omicron restrictions

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© Reuters.FILE PHOTO: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks via a pre-recorded video during the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in the United Nations General Assembly Hall at United Nations Headquarters in New York City, United States, September 24, 202.

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden told reporters on Sunday she had canceled her coronavirus outbreak as the country imposed new restrictions to slow community spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. wedding.

New Zealand will implement mask-wearing rules and limit gatherings from midnight on Sunday after a cluster of nine COVID-19 Omicron cases showed the community spread from the North Island to the South Island after a wedding.

After a wedding and other events in Auckland, North Island, the family was flown back to Nelson, South Island. The family and a flight attendant tested positive.

New Zealand will enter the red environment with more masks under its COVID-19 protection framework. Indoor reception venues such as bars and restaurants, and events such as weddings, have a limit of 100 people. If venues don’t use vaccine passes, the limit will be reduced to 25 people, Arden said.

“My wedding is not going to go ahead,” she told reporters, adding that she felt sorry for anyone who was caught in a similar situation. Ardern has not revealed her wedding date, but rumor has it that she is getting married soon.

When asked by reporters how she felt about canceling her wedding to longtime partner and fishing show host Clark Gayford, Ardern replied: “That’s life.”

She added: “I dare say I’m no different from the thousands of other New Zealanders who have felt the more devastating effects of the pandemic, and the most frustrating of which is that sometimes they can’t be with their loved ones. Together. Very sick. That would go far beyond any grief I’ve been through.

New Zealand’s borders have been closed to foreigners since March 2020. The government delayed plans for a phased reopening from mid-January to the end of February amid concerns about a possible Omicron outbreak in neighbouring Australia.

People who are able to travel to New Zealand in limited exceptions must apply to remain in a state-managed isolation facility. The government stopped giving out any new slots last week due to a surge in the number of people arriving using Omicron.

About 94% of New Zealand’s population over the age of 12 is fully vaccinated, and about 56% of those eligible have received a booster shot.

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