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Tooth fairy and Easter Bunny are ‘essential workers,’ New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern confirms

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds a news conference on Sunday in Wellington. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

During a time of global crisis, climbing death tolls and widespread uncertainty, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been hailed globally for her compassionate handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

She continued to win hearts Monday when she clarified who exactly has made a list of “essential workers.”

“You’ll be pleased to know that we do consider both the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers,” she said, smiling. “But as you can imagine, at this time they’re going to be potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies.”

“I say to the children of New Zealand, if the Easter Bunny doesn’t make it to your household, we have to understand that it’s a bit difficult at the moment for the bunny to perhaps get everywhere,” she said.

Ardern then suggested households help create Easter egg hunts for children in neighborhoods by placing images of eggs in their windows. In recent weeks, many New Zealanders, Americans and Britons have been placing teddy bears in their windows to help create teddy bear hunts for children as they go for walks with their parents.

On March 25, Ardern announced a four-week nationwide lockdown, instructing all residents to remain at home unless they were undertaking “essential work,” such as health care, or carrying out important tasks, such as buying food or picking up medicine. Ardern acknowledged there are signs the stay-at-home order has worked, but she called out “idiots” for not complying. It is not yet known whether the strict lockdown measures will be lifted or extended.

When Ardern announced the lockdown, she said it imposed “the most significant restrictions on New Zealanders’ movements in modern history.”

New Zealand’s death toll is significantly lower than in the rest of the world, with just one confirmed death and 1,106 confirmed cases of the virus.

In recent days, the prime minister has been widely praised for remarks regarding countries considering herd immunity as a strategy amid the covid-19 outbreak.

“In New Zealand, we never ever considered that as a possibility, ever,” she said. “Herd immunity would have meant tens of thousands of New Zealanders dying, and I simply would not tolerate that.”