New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss isolating herself for another week in what she called a “very Kiwi experience”.
Days after announcing the easing of the country’s strict border controls, Ardern developed symptoms on Friday evening and returned a positive test ahead of another positive rapid antigen test result on Saturday morning, his office said in a statement. His symptoms would be moderate.
His partner, Clarke Gayford, tested positive last Sunday and Ardern has been in quarantine ever since.
She will have to self-isolate until the morning of Saturday May 21 and will not be in parliament next week as her government has scheduled two watershed events in the emissions reduction plan on Monday and the budget on Thursday.
Ardern will perform some duties remotely, but his deputy, Grant Robertson, will participate in the regular post-cabinet press conference on Monday.
“It’s a landmark week for the government and I’m disgusted that I can’t be here for it,” Ardern said.
“Our emissions reduction plan charts the course to achieve our zero carbon goal and the budget addresses the future and long-term security of New Zealand’s healthcare system.
“But as I said earlier in the week, isolation with Covid-19 is a very Kiwi experience this year and my family is no different.”