Covid: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern cancels her wedding amid omicron outbreak



New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern decided to cancel her wedding after announcing new restrictions against covid-19 in the island country.

Following an outbreak of the omicron variant, all of New Zealand – which has recorded a total of 15,104 cases and 52 deaths – will be under the highest level of restrictions against coronavirus.

Among other things, attendance at events will be limited to a maximum of 100 vaccinated people and the use of masks in stores and on public transport will be reintroduced.

The new measures will take effect at midnight this Sunday, local time.

Ardern confirmed to journalists this Sunday that her wedding with the television presenter Clarke Gayford it will not take place.

TV host Clarke Gayford and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. GETTY IMAGES

“My wedding will not take place,” he said.

“I am no different than thousands of other New Zealanders who have suffered much more devastating impacts from the pandemicThe most devastating is not being able to be with a loved one when they are seriously ill.”

“That will far outweigh any sadness I experience.”

Omicron cases

New Zealand decided to impose new restrictions after they were confirmed 9 cases of the omicron variant.

A family who had attended a wedding in Auckland, in the north of the country, tested positive after returning home to the south.

A flight attendant also contracted the virus.

Authorities noted that it is expected that the level of community transmission of the group is high.

More than 90% of the population in New Zealand have received two doses of the covid-19 vaccine. GETTY IMAGES

The country led by Ardern has operated under strict measures since the start of the pandemic, which has allowed it to keep deaths to a minimum.

It was, in fact, one of the first countries in the world to close their borders.

But since the appearance of the Delta variant, the prime minister moved from a strategy of total elimination of covid-19 to promoting higher vaccination rates and treating the virus as endemic.

It is believed that about 94% of the country’s population over the age of 12 is fully vaccinated and 56% of eligible people have received their booster doses.

Last year, the island country announced plans to reopen its borders in stages. Foreign travelers will be the last group allowed to enter the country, starting April 30.

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