Asia Pacific

New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern turned away from cafe under coronavirus rules

AFP-Jiji

In New Zealand, no one is exempt from the strict coronavirus prevention measures — not even Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was denied entry to a cafe because of her own social distancing rules.

Ardern, her fiance Clarke Gayford and a group of friends were turned away from a cafe in Wellington on Saturday because it had already reached its customer limit.

“I have to take responsibility for this, I didn’t get organized and book anywhere,” Gayford tweeted in response to another diner, who had spotted the couple being turned away.

As New Zealand eases out of its coronavirus lockdown, cafes were allowed to reopen on Thursday, but must maintain social distancing between tables and customers must remain seated.

A diner who saw Ardern refused entry told Stuff media that a cafe employee “had to awkwardly say it was full and there were no tables, and they left.”

Fortunately for Ardern’s party, other diners left soon after, and staff from the cafe were able to run down the street to invite the prime minister back.

“Was very nice of them to chase us down the street when a spot freed up. A+ service,” Gayford tweeted.

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