Lisa Wilkinson calls Australia's Covid spread 'a bin fire' after NZ's strict rules

Lisa Wilkinson has weighed in on Jacinda Arden’s decision to introduce restrictions in New Zealand due to the arrival of Omicron in the country.

The Prime Minister put her own wedding plans on hold after tightening gathering rules and plunging New Zealand into Covid-19 “red light” rules.

Lisa Wilkinson on The Project
Lisa Wilkinson has weighed in on New Zealand's tough new Covid-19 rules. Photo: Channel 10

The new restrictions could also see household contacts of those diagnosed with Omicron having to isolate for 24 days.

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Those diagnosed with Covid-19 must quarantine for 14 days and anyone isolating with them has to stay quarantine for an additional 10 days.

Lisa Wilkinson seemed shocked at the decision on The Project last night, saying: “Wowee – 24 days (in isolation).

“If that doesn’t give you an indication that Jacinda Ardern has looked across the ‘ditch’ at our bin fire and gone, ‘Not doing that!’ Wow!”

Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern made the announcement yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Jacinda was due to marry long-term partner Clarke Gayford later this month in a ceremony near Gisborne, on the North Island's eastern coast.

She spoke to the country yesterday, saying: "My wedding will not be going ahead ... such is life.

"I am no different to - dare I say it - thousands of other New Zealanders who have had much more devastating impacts felt by the pandemic.

"The most gutting of which is the inability to be with a loved one sometimes when they're gravely ill. That will far, far outstrip any sadness I experience."

As of midnight on Sunday, New Zealand will shift from "orange" to the stricter "red" settings on its traffic light-style system for COVID-19 management.

Red settings require additional mask use in public settings, require hospitality venues to cap indoor patrons at 100 and seat them all, a cap that also applies to events and gatherings.

Ms Ardern's wedding, reportedly set to host around 180 guests, falls foul of those gathering limits.

Gayle Clarke and Jacinda Ardern
The Prime Minister put her own wedding plans on hold after tightening gathering rules and plunging New Zealand into Covid-19 “red light” rules. Photo: Getty Images

She could proceed with a smaller event - however to do so would have risked a backlash, and runs contrary to her public health ethos.

"I just joined many other New Zealanders who have had an experience like that as a result of the pandemic," she said.

"To anyone who's caught up in that scenario, I'm so sorry.

"But we are all so resilient. I know we understand that we're doing this for one another and I know that will help us continue on."

Weddings by sitting heads of government are extremely rare: an Australian prime minister has never done so.

Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford, a television presenter and celebrity fisherman and DJ, have one daughter, three-year-old Neve.

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