Covid-zero zealot Jacinda Ardern stands out in New York as she wears a mask OUTSIDE while recovering from the virus
- Jacinda Ardern photographed wearing face mask outdoors in New York
- She tested positive on May 14 in New Zealand but has since left isolation
- The US state ended that requirement a year ago, masks also not needed indoors
- But they are needed by those who tested positive to the virus in the last 10 days
- Widely criticised for tough Covid rules, Ms Ardern is in the US on trade mission
The New Zealand Prime Minister, who caught Covid on May 14, stood out wearing the protection while she was out and about in the Big Apple on Tuesday.
Surrounded by a security team, Ms Ardern – who was on day 10 of her infection – kept her black face covering on despite being outside and coming out of Covid isolation on May 21.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul ended her state’s Covid-19 mask indoor mandate in February, and outdoors since vaccination was widespread last year.
But those who have had Covid must wear a mask until the end of day 10.
Jacinda Ardern has been spotted wearing a facemask outdoors in New York even though they have not been required for months
The Kiwi PM, who announced she had Covid on May 14, stood out wearing the unnecessary protection while she was out and about in the Big Apple on Tuesday
Face coverings were mandated outside in public spaces by the former governor Andrew Cuomo in April 2020. The rule lasted just over a year.
Ms Ardern rolled up in a motorcade to host a meeting with US travel editors before putting on the mask. She is in New York on a trade trip to meet businesses and tech giants.
She will later move on to Boston where she is the principal speaker at Harvard University’s 371st Commencement on Thursday.
Harvard President Larry Bacow said he was looking forward to Ms Ardern’s address.
‘From climate change and gender equality to Covid-19, she has modeled compassionate leadership that has brought together empathy and science-based solutions to address the most challenging issues of our time,’ he said.
Ms Ardern was earlier photographed chatting to new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and foreign minister Penny Wong in Tokyo, as an observer to the Quad meeting.
Ms Ardern congratulated Anthony Albanese on his win in the election but is understood to be determined to see a change in Australia’s divisive deportation laws
Ms Ardern has been widely criticised for her strict Covid response, including presiding over a long-running mandatory quarantine system for returning Kiwis.
She also kept the borders closed for the whole pandemic and it doesn’t reopen to all tourists and visa holders until 11.59pm on July 31.
Vaccinated Australians were allowed in from April 13 and jabbed travelers from a further 60 countries were permitted from May 2.
Despite admitting she was not a fan of vaccine mandates, Ms Ardern said she had to introduce them to prevent long-term Covid restrictions.
Auckland residents endured a series of lockdowns throughout the pandemic, the worst a nearly four-month stint at home from August to December last year.
Ms Ardern said stay-at-home order, combined with the presence of the more dangerous Delta variant, forced officials into more drastic action.
She was photographed chatting to new Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese and foreign minister Penny Wong without a face covering
In her home country her approval has dramatically fallen in recent months and her government is behind in the polls ahead of the next NZ election, which is due before January 2024.
She is understood to hopeful the change in Australia’s leadership may finally mean the end of divisive deportation laws.
Australia’s ‘501’ deportations, where foreign nationals are required to maintain ‘good character’ or risk being given a one-way ticket to their birth country and told never to return, has triggered some frosty discussions with New Zealand.
The powers, under section 501 of the Migration Act, allows the immigration minister to deport hundreds of people each year on the basis of ‘bad character’, most of whom are from New Zealand.