Outspoken British commentator Piers Morgan has slammed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after the country introduced a range of new Covid-19 restrictions following its first confirmed case of Omicron.
Under the new restrictions, businesses and schools can remain open, and domestic travel can continue. However, mandates in place for mask-wearing, gathering size restrictions, and vaccine passes are required for entry to most non-essential businesses.
While introducing the new measures Arden said “Omicron is now circulating in Auckland”.
“I know hearing these sorts of case numbers will sound deeply concerning for people to hear,” she said.
“We’ll do everything that we can to slow the spread and reduce the number of cases we experience as a nation.”
Morgan was quick to weigh in on the matter, taking to Twitter to tell his followers, “New Zealand is also trapped in a perpetual pandemic prison camp”.
“Vaccines + much milder Omicron is the most likely way out of this. NZ has very high vaccination levels now so shouldn’t continue with Ardern’s unachievable zero covid ambition,” he wrote.
New Zealand is also trapped in a perpetual pandemic prison camp. Vaccines + much milder Omicron is the most likely way out of this. NZ has very high vaccination levels now so shouldn’t continue with Ardern’s unachievable zero covid ambition. https://t.co/uLfXvUCsFM
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 23, 2022
Many followers were quick to defend Arden against Morgan’s comments.
“Jacinda knows best.. we only have 52 deaths since the start of the pandemic.. and our health system will not cope so she’s looking after them. Key thing is we are NOT in lockdown. Businesses are still open up to maximum capacity of 100.”
“I like how you skipped over the fact that omicron is incredibly more infectious.”
“It’s called common sense, history will show that her leadership has been pretty much exemplary.”
Arden was forced to cancel her wedding given the new restrictions, telling reporters, “such is life”.
“I am no different to, dare I say, thousands of other New Zealanders who have had much more devastating impacts felt by the pandemic,” she said.