Coronavirus: Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy 'essential workers', says New Zealand PM

·2-min read

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has attempted to allay children's concerns by confirming the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are "essential workers".

Launching a nationwide Easter egg hunt, the Kiwi leader gave the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy the all-clear to continue operating.

The country was placed on a "level four" lockdown on 25 March, similar to the UK's, with only essential workers allowed out to work to try to stop COVID-19 spreading.

During Monday's daily coronavirus news briefing, she said: "You'll be pleased to know that we do consider both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers."

But she warned children it may be "a bit difficult at the moment" for the Easter Bunny to make it to all their homes this weekend.

She said: "As you can imagine at this time, of course they are going to be potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies.

"And so I say to the children of New Zealand if the Easter Bunny doesn't make it to your household, then we have to understand that it is a bit difficult at the moment for the Bunny to perhaps get everywhere."

The 39-year-old leader posted a "message for the kids of New Zealand" on her Instagram asking them to take part in The Big New Zealand Easter Egg Hunt to "make this Easter extra special".

She asked them to colour in the Easter egg template she posted or to design their own then stick it in a window at home so everyone in their street could "have the chance to hunt for eggs this weekend".

Ms Ardern also promised to share some of the designs on her social media accounts, asking for them to be emailed to her or shared on social media with the hashtag #NZEggHunt.

The prime minister has been widely praised for her leadership and frankness during the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen one death in the country and 1,106 cases by Monday evening.

On Sunday, she praised those who had complied with the lockdown but said there were "still some people I would charitably describe as idiots" - as she mentioned a man in Christchurch who filmed himself coughing on people.

She said no decision had been made about extending the four-week lockdown, but there were signs it was helping slow down the spread.

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