"But as you can imagine at this time, of course they’re going to be potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies,” PM Jacinda Ardern said.

By Alison Fox
April 07, 2020
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The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are officially considered essential workers — in New Zealand, at least.

The country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reassured the children of New Zealand at a news conference on Sunday that both mythical creatures were absolutely considered essential, but added they may be a little busy right now.

“You’ll be pleased to know that we do consider both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers. But as you can imagine at this time, of course they’re going to be potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies,” Ardern said. “And so I say to the children of New Zealand: if the Easter Bunny doesn’t make it to your household, then we have to understand that it’s a bit difficult at the moment for the bunny to perhaps get everywhere.”

While holidays like Easter may fall right in the middle of the COVID-19 global pandemic, forcing many to remain in their homes, Ardern suggested a socially distant Easter egg hunt in keeping with the spirit of the season. And to help, she posted a template on her Instagram page that people could color and place in their windows for other kids to find.

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New Zealand is currently under a Level 4 on their COVID-19 alert system, which means people must stay home except for essential movement like going to the supermarket or outdoor exercise where you’re at least two meters (or about six feet) away from other people, according to the government’s Unite Against COVID-19 program.

There have been more than 1,100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the spread of the virus.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during her post-Cabinet media update at Parliament on April 6, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand.
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Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is hard for anyone, but can be especially difficult for kids, and Ardern wasn’t alone in talking directly to the youngest citizens: Last month, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg held a news conference specifically to address children and their fears during these harrowing times.

“Many children think it is scary,” Solberg said, according to Reuters. “It is OK to be scared when so many things happen at the same time.”

Solberg then took time to answer kids’ questions like if they could have a birthday party or visit their grandparents.

“By being home you are helping other people not be contaminated and get sick,” she told them. “It is important for those who already have a disease or who are very old.”

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