Omicron outbreak in New Zealand inevitable, PM Jacinda Ardern says
Independent

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has proven herself to be a team player when it comes to tackling rising Covid cases after she cancelled her upcoming wedding to introduce new restrictions.

The 41-year-old was supposed to tie the knot with fiancé Clarke Gayford next weekend at Gisborne on the North Island's eastern coast, according to Sky News. But instead, Ardern announced new measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant in the country.

This comes after there were nine confirmed cases of the variant detected earlier this month from a single family who flew into Auckland for a wedding, Independentreported.

As a result, New Zealand will now move into the “red setting" from Monday, January 24th. The new measures mean mandatory mask-wearing and limited social gathering "for some weeks." Though schools will remain open, and while workplaces are also open, working from home is encouraged.

"Such is life," Ardern said when she addressed the cancellation of her wedding.

'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.

Ardern also explained to reporters that the plan is to keep case numbers down through contact tracing and rapid testing.

"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," the prime minister explained.

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People on Twitter have been reacting to the news, and praised Ardern for setting an example in her leadership, even if it means suffering a personal sacrifice, by postponing her wedding.

Of course, Brits couldn't help but compare the New Zealand leader's selflessness to UK prime minister Boris Johnson who many would argue had behaved in the complete opposite way amid the Partygate scandal.


However, someone did point out that Johnson too put his wedding plans on hold during the pandemic and eventually wed Carrie Johnson in May 2021.

Though, we now know there were some other alleged partying going on in Downing Street on different occasions.

Hopefully, once New Zealand gets the Omicron variant under control Ardern can give the green light and ease restrictions for New Zealanders and allow her wedding to eventually go ahead, and one person has suggested the perfect song for the occasion... Green Light by New Zealand pop star Lorde.

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