Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her COVID-19 test on Tuesday was her second for the infectious disease after first being tested on Christmas Eve.
Ardern worked from Wellington's Premier House on Tuesday after picking up the "seasonal sniffle". That was put down as one of the "consequences of having a child that goes to daycare", a spokesperson said.
She was tested for COVID-19 and the result came back negative on Tuesday afternoon. Speaking to MoreFM on Wednesday morning, the Prime Minister, who has received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, said it was her second test for the virus.
"The first one no one would have noticed because it was on Christmas Eve… self-isolating until I got a result halfway through Christmas Day," she said.
Ministry of Health advice is that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should get tested. Those symptoms include sneezing and runny nose, a new or worsening cough, a sore throat, fever, shortness of breath, temporary loss of smell, and altered sense of taste.
"[It's] just one of those things where I need to follow my own advice and go and get the COVID test. But back on deck today," she said.
Ardern said she hasn't taken many sick days during her time in the top job, but believes the pandemic has changed the attitudes of Kiwis, who now feel guilty going into the office unwell.
"New Zealanders, I think, as a general rule of thumb, we have always been quite stoic. Even all of the cold and flu medications, their taglines are things like 'soldier on', right? That is, I think, traditionally how we have all behaved in the workplace.
"COVID has just changed everything. Now, I think the guilt is if you are at work when you shouldn't be. I have to do the same thing that I ask of everyone else, when you are sick, please stay at home, get a test, make sure you're not passing anything on to anyone else. I reluctantly had to follow that advice."