NZ PM Jacinda Ardern Turned Away From Cafe That Reached Coronavirus Capacity
The social distancing rules apply to everyone -- even the Prime Minister, who was rejected from a full cafe.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford were unable to be seated at a cafe in Wellington after it reached full capacity under the country's social distancing -- but Gayford still praised the "very nice" and "A+" service.
Under the country's coronavirus laws, restaurants are only allowed 10 guests with a one-metre distance required between seated groups. So when the pair turned up to a "full" cafe, there was no spot for them.
“Omg Jacinda Ardern just tried to come into Olive and was rejected cause it’s full,” a Kiwi wrote on Twitter around lunchtime on Saturday.
“Never mind they sorted her out," he added 15 minutes later.
The dining hiccup happened on Saturday at Olive restaurant, two days after the country relaxed many of its lockdown rules, including reopening restaurants.
Responding to the tweet, Gayford confirmed the story and said he was at fault for being disorganised.
“I have to take responsibility for this, I didn’t get organised and book anywhere,” he wrote, saying it "was very nice of them to chase us down when a spot freed up."
Gayford praised the "A+ service.”
A spokesperson for Ardern's office told The Guardian that rather than ordering staff to book her a table, "the PM says she just waits like everyone else".
An unnamed manager of the cafe told the NZ Herald that no special exceptions were made for the Prime Minister and her partner.
“She had a lovely brunch and left half an hour later,” he told the paper.
“She was lovely with all the staff ... [and] she was treated like a normal customer.”
NZ has seen few cases of coronavirus after it underwent a strict lockdown in March.
The country's health authorities have reported just a single new case over the past five days.
New Zealand's coronavirus tally is currently at 1,498 cases and 21 deaths.