Jacinda Ardern was spotted wearing a face mask outside New York City, even though she hasn’t even been required inside in months.
The New Zealand Prime Minister, who tested positive for Covid on May 13, stood out by wearing the protection while traveling in the Big Apple on Tuesday.
Surrounded by a security team, Ms Ardern – who was on day 11 of her infection – kept her black face covered despite being outside and coming out of Covid lockdown on May 21st.
State rules say people must keep a mask on until day 10 of a Covid infection.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul ended her state’s Covid-19 mask mandate indoors in February, and outdoors since vaccination became widespread last year.
But those who have had the Covid must wear a mask until the end of day 10.
Jacinda Ardern was spotted wearing a face mask outside in New York even though they haven’t been required in months
The Kiwi PM, who announced she had Covid on May 14, stood out wearing the unnecessary protection while out and about in the Big Apple on Tuesday
Face coverings were made mandatory outdoors in public spaces by former Governor Andrew Cuomo in April 2020. The rule lasted just over a year.
Ms Ardern rolled up in a motorcade to arrange a meeting with US travel editors before donning the mask. She is in New York on a business trip to meet companies and tech giants.
She will later travel to Boston where she is the keynote speaker at Harvard University’s 371st Commencement on Thursday.
Harvard President Larry Bacow said he looked forward to Ms Ardern’s speech.
“From climate change and gender equality to Covid-19, she modeled compassionate leadership that brought together empathy and science-based solutions to solve the toughest problems of our time,” he said.
Ms Ardern has previously been pictured chatting with new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Secretary Penny Wong in Tokyo, as an observer at the Quad meeting.
Ms Ardern has congratulated Anthony Albanese on his election victory, but it is understood she is determined to see change in the deportation laws that divide Australia.
Ms Ardern has been widely criticized for her tough response to Covid, including presiding over a long-standing mandatory quarantine system for returning Kiwis.
It has also kept borders closed throughout the pandemic and it will not reopen to all tourists and visa holders until 11:59 p.m. on July 31.
Vaccinated Australians were allowed entry from April 13 and bitten travelers from 60 other countries were allowed in from May 2.
Although she admitted she was not a fan of vaccination mandates, Ms Ardern said she had to introduce them to prevent long-term Covid restrictions.
Aucklanders have endured a series of lockdowns throughout the pandemic, the worst being a nearly four-month stay at home from August to December last year.
Ms Ardern said the stay-at-home order, combined with the presence of the more dangerous Delta variant, forced officials into more drastic measures.
She was pictured chatting to new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Secretary Penny Wong without covering her face
In his home country, his approval has dropped dramatically in recent months and his government is behind in the polls ahead of New Zealand’s next election, which is due to be held before January 2024.
She is said to be hoping Australia’s change in leadership could finally mean an end to divisive deportation laws.
Australia’s ‘501’ deportations, where foreign nationals are required to maintain their ‘good character’ or risk being given a one-way ticket to their home country and never returning, have sparked chilling discussions with the New Zealand.
Powers under Section 501 of the Migration Act allow the Immigration Minister to deport hundreds of people each year on the basis of ‘bad character’, most of whom are from New Zealand .