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Ardern, Dr Bloomfield address photos of them that appear to show social distancing fails

Both the Prime Minister and Dr Ashley Bloomfield were quizzed today over whether they are following their own Covid-19 advice after photos have surfaced in recent weeks of them posing side-by-side fans.

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The Prime Minister was questioned about recent pictures of her posing with Kiwis while out and about. Source: 1 NEWS

During Covid-19 Alert Level 2, Kiwis have been asked to stay two metres away from strangers. But the photos of both Jacinda Ardern and the Director-General of Health showed the two in much closer quarters with others. 

A reporter asked Ms Ardern today what her stance on social distancing was when she had been pictured "embracing" people. 

Ms Ardern admitted she had been in awkward situations, but said she hadn't embraced anyone.

"Yes, there have been scenarios where I have had people get closer than would have been advised," said Ms Ardern. 

"I have not embraced. In fact, I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to awkwardly say I cannot."

The photo of Dr Ashley Bloomfield taken at a restaurant in Wellington amid Covid-19 Level 2 Source: Supplied/Maykallah Vongla

She said she still advocates for social distancing.

"Social distancing is still important," said Ms Ardern. 

"I have had situations where people have moved into me closer than I would have liked but I will continue to advocate for social distancing."

Dr Bloomfield was also questioned by a reporter today after a picture of him in a restaurant standing closely with "strangers" had been shared online. He said he is following his own social distancing rules. 

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The Director-General of Health has defended a photo that’s surfaced online in which he’s posing with “strangers” amid Level 2. Source: 1 NEWS

"I could say that by the end of the dinner these people were no longer strangers, but it was very fleeting," said Dr Bloomfield.

"This was in Level 2 and I visited a restaurant with a group of friends. We were a group of 10...Actually one couple didn't come because one of them was unwell, which is the most important thing."

He said everyone had used hand sanitiser and they had already registered their names with the restaurant for contact tracing. 

"Secondly, at the restaurant all the right processes were in place, including checking in, single service, seated and so on."

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What you can do in Level 1 - restrictions on physical distancing and businesses to be lifted

It comes as the Government has announced what Level 1 will look like for Kiwis should the country move from Level 2 next week. 

Among the changes, there will be no physical distancing rules and limits on gatherings will be removed.

Cabinet will consider the move to Level 1 next Monday.