New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern turned away from cafe at coronavirus capacity


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A cafe refused to seat New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern because if it had, it would have violated the country’s coronavirus social distancing measures.

“Omg Jacinda Ardern just tried to come into Olive and was rejected cause it’s full,” wrote one Twitter user, Joey.

Arden and her fiance, Clarke Gayford, were turned away after showing up at Olive for Saturday brunch. They later got a table.

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The restaurant is in Wellington, the capital city.

Arden eased New Zealand’s lockdown rules Thursday, including reopening restaurants.

But social distancing measures are still in place, requiring groups to stay three feet apart from each other.

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In this Sept. 21, 2019, file photo, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, left, stands with her fiance Clarke Gayford as they watch rugby in Yokohama, Japan. 

In this Sept. 21, 2019, file photo, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, left, stands with her fiance Clarke Gayford as they watch rugby in Yokohama, Japan. 
(AP)

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Many restaurants have limited their seating to comply with the rules.

“I have to take responsibility for this, I didn’t get organized and book anywhere,” Gayford tweeted. “Was very nice of them to chase us down st (street) when a spot freed up. A+ service.”

Ardern’s office said that waiting at a cafe during New Zealand’s virus restrictions can happen to anyone.

“The PM says she just waits like everyone else,” it said.

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Ardern has been widely praised for her swift and decisive response to the pandemic.

New Zealand closed its borders and instituted a strict lockdown in March, and has been largely successful in its goal of eliminating the virus.

Health authorities have reported just a single new case over the past five days. The country has confirmed a total of 1,498 cases, including 21 deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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