New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19 with moderate symptoms, her office said in a statement on Saturday.
He will not be in parliament for the government’s emissions reduction plan on Monday and the budget on Thursday, but “travel arrangements for his trade mission to the United States will not be affected at this stage,” the statement said.
Ardern has been noticeable since Friday evening, with a weak positive at night and a clear positive return on early antigen testing on Saturday morning, it said.
He had been isolated since Sunday, when his partner, Clark Gayford, tested positive, it said.
Due to the positive test, Ardern will have to be isolated until the morning of May 21, what responsibility he can take from a distance.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will address the media in his place on Monday.
“This is a milestone week for the government and I am disappointed that I will not be able to stay there,” Ardern said in a statement.
“Our emissions reduction plan sets the way for us to achieve our carbon zero goal and the budget speaks to the long-term future and security of New Zealand’s healthcare system,” he said. “But as I said, breaking up with COVID-19 earlier this week is a very Kiwi experience this year and my family is no different.”
Ardern further said Saturday that his daughter Nev tested positive on Wednesday.
“Despite my best efforts, unfortunately I joined the rest of my family and tested positive for the Covid 19,” Ardern posted on his official Instagram page.