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Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Jacinda Ardern speaks to Ryan Bridge on wearing masks at swimming pools

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has had an awkward exchange with a breakfast television host over the Government’s new level 2 mask rules.

Ardern told AM Show host Ryan Bridge she’s “not a complete idiot” after he misunderstood her explanation that people didn’t need to wear masks while swimming.

“My recollection is we certainly haven’t required them in swimming pools – those damp environments- they don’t work as effectively.”

Bridge responded that he would hope people didn’t have to use them in a swimming pool as they might drown.

“A parent watching your child at a swimming lesson Ryan. I’m not a complete idiot,” Ardern said.

She later added that because she came at all sports as a spectator not a participant it didn’t even cross her mind that someone would actually think she meant a swimmer.

Sport and recreation for all of New Zealand – except for Auckland – is set to return following the Government’s decision to move the rest of the country to alert level 2 at 11.59pm on Tuesday.

Under alert level 2, usual sport and recreation activities is allowed if it can be done safely.

Public parks and playgrounds will be re-opened, while indoor facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, dance studios and health clubs can open, but with extra safety measures.

However, new level 2 rules will be introduced because of the danger presented by the Delta strain, including mandatory mask use in most public venues and patron limits at restaurants, bars and clubs.

Under the new Delta level 2, indoor public facilities are now classified the same as retail and supermarkets: a 2m space will be required.

The Prime Minister’s office confirmed people don’t have to wear a mask in the gym, but they do have to be 2m apart.

Team sports can also continue, but are limited to 100 people. Professional leagues will be able to return as they are considered controlled workplaces, but will take place without fans.

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