New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tests positive for COVID-19

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19 with moderate symptoms, her office said in a statement on Saturday.

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She will not be in parliament for the government’s emissions reduction plan on Monday and the budget on Thursday, but “travel arrangements for her trade mission to the United States are not affected at this stage,” the statement said.

Ardern had been symptomatic since Friday night, giving a weak positive overnight and a clear positive Saturday morning on a rapid antigen test, he said.

She has been in isolation since Sunday, when her partner Clarke Gayford tested positive, she said.

Due to the positive test, Ardern will be required to self-isolate until the morning of May 21, taking on whatever duties he can remotely.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will address the media in his place on Monday.

“This is a historic week for the Government and I am devastated that I cannot be there,” Ardern said in the statement.

“Our emissions reduction plan sets out the path to achieving our zero carbon target and the budget addresses the long-term future and security of New Zealand’s health system,” he said. “But like I said earlier in the week, isolating with COVID-19 is a very Kiwi experience this year and my family is no different.”

Ardern also said on Saturday that her daughter Neve had tested positive on Wednesday.

“Despite best efforts, I have unfortunately joined the rest of my family and tested positive for COVID 19,” Ardern posted on her official Instagram page.

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