Jacinda Ardern has made the decision to lockdown New Zealand for three days after one person in the country has tested positive for Covid-19.
This move is further evidence that the country has a government that's not afraid to take action. Previous moves have included plans to become the world’s first smoke-free country and the momentous decision to bereavement leave for miscarriages.
The Prime Minister made a televised statement to New Zealanders as she announced that she would be imposing a snap short lockdown.
"We have seen what can happen elsewhere if we fail to get on top of it. We only get one chance," said Jacinda.
"We are better to start high and be cautious, then move out as soon as we are comfortable doing so, than to start low and be in that phase (lockdown) for much, much longer," she said.
"You only need to look at Australia to see the alternative," concluded the Prime Minister as she referred to their neighboring country Australia, which has been devastated by the virus.
The individual who has tested positive for Covid-19 is a 58-year-old man in Auckland, who contracted the virus from an unknown source.
Although the virus has been located in Auckland, the General Director of Health, Ashley Bloomfield confirmed that this is a nationwide problem that affects all of New Zealand.
"This case was identified in Auckland but is a national issue because we cannot link it to the border it's possible there could be other cases around in Auckland and other chains of transmission (outside the city)," said Ashley.
The latest decision from Jacinda has had a huge reaction from both New Zealanders and spectators worldwide—but this time it's dividing opinion.
Many people on social media have used their platform to criticize this decision and have argued that her approach is an overreaction to the situation. Conversely, countless New Zealanders have taken to Twitter to applaud the Prime Minister's quick reaction to lock down the country.
"Level 4 lockdown across NZ. 7 days Auckland and Coromandel. 3 days everywhere else. Such a relief knowing our government is looking after us. Full, reliable information and intelligent media questions answered honestly by Jacinda Ardern and Dr Ashley Bloomfield #COVID19nz," said one New Zealander on Twitter.
"New Zealand had it's first case of covid in 160 days today, our prime minister Jacinda Ardern immediately put the whole of New Zealand into a level 4 lockdown. That's how it's done folks," said the New Zealand-based social media user.
New Zealand had it's first case of covid in 160 days today, our prime minister Jacinda Ardern immediately put the whole of New Zealand into a level 4 lockdown. That's how it's done folks 👑August 17, 2021
There were some social media users that were less than impressed by the lockdown imposed, even though they don't even live in New Zealand
"All of New Zealand is going into a lockdown because of ONE Covid case Sanctimonious Jacinda Ardern has lost the plot. Zero Covid is an authoritarian fantasy. If lockdown were the answer, Covid would have been eliminated 17 months ago. New Zealanders should resist this madness!" said one social media user based in the UK.
Dan Wooton, a New Zealand journalist, took to social media to pit two different women in power, Jacinda with Queen Elizabeth II, against one another, and ask followers to compare the two and ask who the 'real leader' is.
"One positive Covid case at Queen's summer estate of Balmoral and the 95-year-old declares: Keep calm and I'll carry on my holiday as usual. One positive Covid case in New Zealand and PM Jacinda Ardern shuts down the entire country and suspends vaccinations. Who's the real leader?" he asked.
One positive Covid case at Queen's summer estate of Balmoral and the 95-year-old declares: Keep calm and I'll carry on my holiday as usual.One positive Covid case in New Zealand and PM Jacinda Ardern shuts down entire country and suspends vaccinations.Who's the real leader?August 17, 2021
Although the decision made by the Prime Minister has split opinions, the government also recently introduced a roadmap that will lift the travel restrictions in the country.
Only a few days ago, the country confirmed that it will be attempting to open all of its borders by 2022.
Jacinda said in a statement at the time, “Our ultimate goal is to get to quarantine-free travel for all vaccinated travelers… But we’re simply not in a position to fully reopen just yet.”
It is unclear how this new development and short lockdown will affect New Zealand's plan to open the country back up by next year.
Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.
Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.
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