Wellington, New Zealand — New Zealand has decided there is some magic in the world after officially declaring children’s favorites the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are essential workers.
That means they can carry on with their work while others stay at home during a month long lockdown.
“You will be pleased to know that we do consider both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday. “But, as you can imagine at this time, of course, they are going to potentially be quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies.”
Health Minister demoted for breaching lockdown rules
New Zealand Health Minister David Clark has been demoted from his position after admitting to breaching lockdown rules on two occasions, the official portal of the New Zealand government reported on Tuesday.
The health minister called himself “an idiot” after local media revealed that he drove his family 20 kilometers to a beach and separately went on a bicycle ride in a nearby park while a nationwide stay-at-home order was in effect.
“At a time when we are asking New Zealanders to make historic sacrifices I’ve let the team down. I’ve been an idiot, and I understand why people will be angry with me,” Clark said in a statement posted on the website.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she stripped Clark of associate responsibilities in the finance ministry and demoted him to the bottom of the cabinet rankings, but stopped short of firing him due to the extraordinary circumstances at hand.
“Under normal circumstances, I would sack the minister. What he did was wrong and there are no excuses. But my priority above all else is our collective fight against Covid-19,” Ardern said in a televised briefing.
The nationwide quarantine was imposed in New Zealand on March 26 as part of a state of emergency declaration and a ban on all foreign entrants to the country.
As of Tuesday, New Zealand counts 1 160 coronavirus cases in the country, with 54 new cases confirmed over the past 24 hours. One person has died due to Covid-19 since the beginning of the outbreak.
AP and Sputnik