Last Saturday, PM Jacinda Ardern was seen waiting in line with her fiance Clarke Gayford in front of Olive, a cafe located in Wellington, but was rejected by the restaurant manager because the cafe was already at full capacity with respect to the New Zealand Level 2 social distancing restrictions they have to follow.
With New Zealand is currently under Alert Level 2, people are allowed to leave home but are required to strictly follow public health measures such as physical distancing. Controlled environments such as cafes, church groups, gatherings, restaurants, and gyms are limiting the number of people they accommodate, which means falling in line and wait for a customer to leave just so you can get the fix of your favorite food or drink. These rules apply to everyone, even if you’re the Prime Minister.
A customer named Joey immediately took the incident to Twitter saying, “Omg Jacinda Ardern just tried to come into Olive and was rejected cause it’s full,”
Omg Jacinda Ardern just tried to come into Olive and was rejected cause it’s full.
(@reinvention) May 15, 2020
All was well though because everything has been sorted out. According to the management of the restaurant in an interview with New Zealand Herald, a table freed up shortly after the couple has been turned away so they chased them down the street to accommodate them, something they stressed a courtesy they extend to every other customer.
Clarke Gayford took the blame for the brief incident by replying to the earlier tweet and commends the way the restaurant handled the situation.
I have to take responsibility for this, I didn’t get organized and book anywhere. Was very nice of them to chase us down st when a spot freed up. A+ service.
— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) May 16, 2020
A spokesperson of Ardern’s office says that due to the restrictions in place, waiting at a cafe is something anyone could experience and that the New Zealand Prime Minister says she just waits like everyone else.