Government responds to new COVID-19 ad implying Kiwis need to be vaccinated to have sex this summer

The Government has responded to apparent confusion over new COVID-19 messaging that implies New Zealanders need to be fully vaccinated in order to have sex this summer. 

But the explanation - or lack thereof - may not clear things up for those keen to engage in hanky-panky over the Christmas period.

A recently released Unite Against COVID-19 advert lists various freedoms Kiwis can look forward to this summer if they get "two shots", including "long days and warm nights" and "sharing a feed".

When the narration says two shots "to do the deed", video of two ladybirds mating is played along with a couple kissing and a firework exploding.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay awkwardly fielded a question about the clip at Friday's 1pm COVID-19 media update.

When asked if the Government is now mandating Kiwis need a vaccination for "intimacy", Robertson replied: "You won't be surprised to learn I don't write the copy for the advertisements so I'm not sure what would've been referred to there."

Dr McElnay added: "I cannot comment, I do not write the ads either." 

If being vaccinated against COVID-19 was going to be a requirement for sexual contact this summer, Robertson as Deputy Prime Minister would very likely know about it.

"But I'm sure people need all manner of different incentives to be vaccinated, so whatever it takes," he added with a chuckle, in reference to the 'two shots' ad.

It's not the first time New Zealand's leaders have faced tough questions about Kiwis "doing the deed" amid the COVID-19 Delta outbreak.

In September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield were asked about a visitor allegedly having sex with a patient at Auckland Hospital

"I think it is a high-risk activity, potentially; however I don't know any of the details about that interaction," said Dr Bloomfield.

"I would say, generally, regardless of the COVID status, that kind of thing shouldn't generally be part of visiting hours," added Ardern.

Official Government guidelines for protecting yourself and the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic - as well as advice on safe sex - are available on the Ministry of Health's website.