New Zealand Switches to "Red Traffic Light Setting"; PM Jacinda Calls Off Wedding
As New Zealand prepares to switch to the red traffic light setting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern calls off her wedding to partner Clarke Gayford.
Due to a recent surge in COVID-19 instances and stricter restrictions, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern postponed her forthcoming wedding plans on Sunday. She responded to reporters when asked how she felt about the cancellation, "Such is life."
The announcement was made at an urgent press conference on Sunday.
COVID-related regulations have been reinforced. 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 that travelled by plane for a wedding of 100 people both tested positive.
Gatherings of vaccinated persons with up to 100 people are permitted under the "red" COVID-19 criteria. The number of persons who can attend a gathering without a vaccination permit is restricted to 25. Hospitality venues requiring a vaccination pass can accommodate up to 100 guests while maintaining social distance.
"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," as quoted by CBS.
Ardern and long-time partner Gayford, who have a daughter named Neve, were looking forward to marry in Gisborne this year.
Ardern and Gayford got engaged at Gayford's family bach in Mahia on Easter Sunday, 2019.