WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for coronavirus with moderate symptoms, her office said in a statement on Saturday.
According to the statement, the premier will not be in parliament for the government’s emissions reduction plan on Monday and the budget on Thursday, but “travel arrangements for her trade mission to the United States are unaffected at this stage”.
Days after announcing the relaxation of the country’s tight border controls, Ardern developed symptoms on Friday evening and returned a positive test before another positive result from a rapid antigen test on Saturday morning, it said.
Her symptoms are said to be moderate. She has been in isolation since Sunday, when her partner Clarke Gayford tested positive, the statement added. Due to the positive test, Ardern will be required to isolate until the morning of May 21, undertaking what duties she can remotely.
Ardern will carry out some duties remotely but her deputy, Grant Robertson, will take the regular post-cabinet press conference on Monday.
“This is a milestone week for the government and I’m gutted I can’t be there for it,” Ms Ardern said in the statement.
“Our emissions reduction plan sets the path to achieve our carbon zero goal and the budget addresses the long-term future and security of New Zealand’s health system. But as I said earlier in the week, isolating with COVID-19 is a very Kiwi experience this year and my family is no different,” she said.
The New Zealand Prime Minister also said that her daughter Neve had tested positive on Wednesday. “Despite best efforts, unfortunately I’ve joined the rest of my family and have tested positive for COVID 19,” Ms Ardern posted on her official Instagram page.