Even a global pandemic can’t stop the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reassured the children of her country that the mythical figures are considered “essential workers” during a Monday coronavirus press conference. Ardern, who has a 21-month-old daughter, asked kids to be understanding if the Easter Bunny wasn’t able to make all its usual stops on Easter this Sunday.

“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 the Easter Bunny will do its best to get to each home, Ardern explained an idea for kids and their families to “create your own” Easter egg hunt. She encouraged families to draw an egg and display it on their windows, so other kids in a neighborhood can spot them from a safe distance.

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Ardern later posted an Easter egg template on her Instagram for children to color in or decorate and dubbed the initiative The Big New Zealand Easter Egg Hunt. “I’d also love to see your designs,” she said in the post, asking families to email their masterpieces to primeminister@parliament.govt.nz or share their creations on social media using the hashtag #NZEggHunt. “I’ll pop a few of them here and on Facebook over the Easter weekend. Have fun everyone!”

This is a message for the kids of New Zealand. I’ve been asked by lots of you whether the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are an essential service (I even got asked in a press conference today!) I have good news, the are! But because we’re all in isolation at the moment, the Easter Bunny might not make it to every house this year (they probably have to look after their own Bunny family too). So just in case, I’m wondering if you’ll help me create an Easter egg hunt for all the children in your neighbourhood? You can draw your own Easter egg, or you can colour in the one that some of my clever friends helped to make. All you have to do is colour it in or decorate it, and pop it in your window for other kids to find. I’d also love to see your designs. If you email them to primeminister@parliament.govt.nz, or share them on social media using the hashtag #NZEggHunt, I’ll pop a few of them here and on Facebook over the Easter weekend. Have fun everyone! P.S you can print a copy of this colouring sheet over on my Facebook page.

A post shared by Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) on

New Zealand declared a state of emergency and went on lockdown on March 25. All people in the country, excluding workers providing essential services, are to remain in their homes, except “as permitted for essential personal movement,” according to the government’s coronavirus site

Supermarkets, pharmacies and food banks remain open, but all places where the “public congregate” have been ordered to close. There have been more than 1,100 confirmed cases of the disease in the country, with one death reported, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University

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