The Easter Bunny is an 'essential worker,' New Zealand leader assures kids

The bunny will clock in for Easter on April 12. The tooth fairy's reporting for duty, too.
New Zealand Government Gives Coronavirus Update
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reassured children that figures like the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy aren't affected by coronavirus restrictions. Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

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/ Source: TODAY
By Kerry Breen

The novel coronavirus crisis is continuing to affect countries around the world, leading to spiking levels of unemployment.

In many places, only essential workers are allowed to do their jobs outside the home. But the Easter holidays are approaching, and some kids are worried.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put their minds at ease.

"You’ll be pleased to know that we do consider both the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers,” she said on Monday. “But as you can imagine, at this time they’re going to be potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies.”

"I say to the children of New Zealand, if the Easter Bunny doesn't make it to your household, we have to understand that it's a bit difficult at the moment for the bunny to perhaps get everywhere," she added.

New Zealand has been under lockdown since March 25. The strict measures instructed all residents to remain at home unless they were doing "essential work" like buying food, picking up medicine or seeking healthcare. The country has 1,106 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, and one confirmed death.

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Ardern went on to suggest that households create egg hunts for children in their neighborhoods by placing pictures of eggs in their windows.

Later in the day, Ardern shared a coloring page for an Easter egg on Instagram, asking people to "take part in the Big New Zealand Easter Egg Hunt and make this Easter extra special" by coloring in the template and hanging it in their windows.

The Easter Bunny will be reporting for duty on Easter Sunday elsewhere, as well.

Mark McGowan, a politician in Western Australia, signed a "Special Eggs-emption" for the Easter Bunny after a 9-year-old girl wrote him a letter concerned that the bunny wouldn't visit her home.

On April 2, Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo said that "The Easter Bunny is an essential worker and cannot get coronavirus" during a press briefing designed to answer questions from children.

On April 9, Montana governor Steve Bullock released a statement that said "magical entities," including elves, unicorns, friendly dragons and of course the Easter Bunny, may "freely travel into and through Montana to perform essential services" and "leave behind a gift," so long as they follow social distancing guidelines.

"I recognize this is a difficult time for families across Montana and believe it’s especially important we remember to find ways to bring joy into our homes," wrote Bullock. "That’s why I have deemed the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and other magical creatures as essential."

Easter Sunday 2020 will be celebrated on April 12. President Donald J. Trump initially expressed interest in having "the country opened up and raring to go by Easter," but has since extended social distancing guidelines through April 30.