Jacinda Ardern is turned away from restaurant under distancing rules

Brooke Rolfe
News Reporter

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was turned away from a restaurant that had already reached its capacity when she and her husband Clarke Gayford arrived on Saturday morning.

The pair, according to a tweet, arrived at Olive, a restaurant in Wellington, about 9am but could not get a table because there were already 10 people dining inside.

“Omg Jacinda Ardern just tried to come into Olive and was rejected cause it's full,” a post to Twitter read.

An update a short time later stated the couple were ultimately “sorted out” when a table became available for them.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured with daughter) and her partner Clarke Gayford were initially turned away from a restaurant on Saturday. Source: AAP

Confirming the minor mishap, Mr Gayford replied to the tweet, taking the blame for what unfolded.

“I have to take responsibility for this, I didn't get organised and book anywhere. Was very nice of them to chase us down st(reet) when a spot freed up. A+ service,” he wrote.

Retail shops, malls, restaurants, movie theatres, cafés, gyms, playgrounds, museums, libraries, markets and other public spaces were allowed to reopen in New Zealand on Thursday.

Schools are due to recommence as normal beginning on Monday, and on Thursday bars will do the same as the country rolls out alert level two restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The further easing of restrictions comes after positive results from two weeks of alert level three, off the back of four-and-a-half weeks of strict alert level four lockdowns.

The couple were initially turned away, but ended up being chased down the street when a table became available. Source: Google Maps

Australia has made similar moves towards recovery, with bars, restaurants and cafes gradually opening up across the country this week.

In NSW, the Northern Territory and Queensland, residents were this week allowed back into pubs for the first time in weeks, with the same set to be rolled out in other areas in coming weeks and months.

Australians have been warned to continue to taking social distancing seriously, as the country recorded the most cases of COVID-19 in nearly a month on Friday.

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