Dating is complicated enough at the best of times, but the Ministry of Health and the prime minister have made matters even more tricky by providing differing romantic advice for Covid-19 alert level 2.
Prime Minister Jacinda? Ardern? on Thursday laid out the rules for socialising once New Zealand moves to alert level 2, ahead of the decision being announced on Monday.
While people would no longer have to stick to their bubbles and would be able to see friends and family again, the aim of level 2 was still to reduce close contact with strangers, she said.
But what if a “stranger” is just a Tinder date you haven’t met yet?
* Coronavirus: What you can, and can’t do, socially under Covid-19 Alert Level 2
* Coronavirus: Jacinda Ardern unveils level 2, a safer version of normal
* Coronavirus: Dr Ashley Bloomfield reveals decisions on face masks, vaccines and changes to travel and gatherings for Level 2
Asked about dating apps on ZM radio on Friday, Ardern? put a damper on any dalliances, saying she expected people to be cautious for a while.
“We’re just saying to people, don’t open yourself up to lots of random contacts with people,” she told the Fletch, Vaughan and Megan show.
“No one wants to get the call to say, ‘sorry, you need to stay home for two weeks because of someone you didn’t keep distance from’.”
However, the Ministry of Health appears to be more relaxed about level 2 liaisons.
Asked for the official advice around dating and the use of dating apps under alert level 2, a spokesperson for the National Health Coordination Centre said people should play it safe and follow all the key health rules like staying home if they’re sick and washing their hands regularly.
People should also keep track of where they’ve been and who they’ve seen to make contact tracing easier if they later test positive for Covid-19, the spokesperson said.
But ultimately, they gave the green light.
“People are able to go on a date if they follow these rules and apply common sense about physical contact.”
On Thursday, Ministry of Health director-general Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he was looking forward to giving his extended family members and friends a “careful hug” under alert level 2.
The Ministry of Health did not answer a question about whether physical contact with a date should be limited to a “careful hug”.
The ministry has also been approached for comment on the prime minister’s dating advice.