Jacinda Ardern Turned Away From Cafe Cuz NZ’s Not Messing Around With Social Distancing

Jacinda Ardern

In proof that New Zealand is really not messing around when it comes to social distancing, Jacinda Ardern was turned away from a cafe in Wellington yesterday, because it was at capacity.

Cafes and bars in the country have begun to reopen, with strict limits on the number of patrons and a requirement that there be at least one metre of space between groups.

Yesterday morning, a Twitter user named Joey said: “Omg Jacinda Ardern just tried to come into Olive and was rejected cause it’s full,” followed by an aghast skull emoji.

“Never mind, they sorted her out,” he added a short time later.


The PM’s partner Clark Gayford later copped to the mistake, saying:

“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 when a spot freed up. A+ service.”

The restaurant’s owner told the NZ Herald that it’s standard policy for staff to let customers know when a table opens up, and that Ardern was a model patron, saying:

“She had a lovely brunch and left half an hour later. She was lovely with all the staff … [and] she was treated like a normal customer.”

New Zealand has been praised for its swift and effective response to COVID-19, with the country shutting its borders on March 15 and going into full lockdown on March 25.

The nation has recorded fewer than 1500 cases as a result. This week, as NZ slowly began winding back restrictions, Jacinda Ardern praised her “team of five million”, saying:

“Kiwis from all walks of life were resolute and determined – determined that this was a war we could eventually win, but only if we acted together. The battle is won, but the war is not over.”