January 23, 2022
SYDNEY (Reuters) -New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has cancelled her wedding as the nation imposes new restrictions to slow the community spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, she told reporters.
New Zealand will impose mask rules and limit gathering from midnight on Sunday after a cluster of nine cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant showed community transmission from the North to South islands after a wedding.
A family travelled by plane from the North Island capital of Auckland to a wedding in the South Island attended by 100 people. The family and a flight attendant tested positive.
New Zealand would move to a red setting under its COVID-19 protection framework, with more mask wearing, and a cap of 100 customers indoors in hospitality settings and events such as weddings, or 25 people if venues are not using vaccine passes, Arden said.
“My wedding will not be going ahead,” she told reporters, adding she was sorry for anyone caught up in a similar scenario.
Asked by reporters how she felt about her wedding cancellation, Ardern replied: “Such is life.”
She added, “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.”
(Reporting by Kirsty Needham; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)