Due to a recent surge in COVID-19 instances and tightened restrictions, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern cancelled her upcoming wedding plans on Sunday. According to Reuters, she responded to reporters when asked how she felt about the cancellation, “Such is life.”
“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,” Ardern said. “That will far, far outstrip any sadness I experience.”
COVID-related regulations have been tightened. According to the prime minister, 19 limitations have been imposed after a cluster of nine cases of the Omicron type were detected in Auckland. A flight attendant and a family who travelled by plane for a wedding of 100 people both tested positive.
Gatherings of vaccinated people with up to 100 people are permitted under the “red” COVID-19 criteria. The number of persons who can attend a gathering without a vaccine permit is limited to 25. Hospitality venues requiring a vaccination pass can accommodate up to 100 guests while maintaining social distance.
New Zealand has imposed some of the most stringent COVID-19 restrictions for the duration of the pandemic. According to Johns Hopkins University, the virus has caused around 15,000 COVID-19 infections and 52 deaths in the country. However, Ardern warned that the number of cases could reach 1,000 in the following weeks.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Ardern, 41, and her longtime partner, television host Clarke Gayford, were planning to marry in Gisborne in the coming weeks. Neve is their daughter.