New Zealand

Tonga defers plans to re-open borders

The plan was to open the border for incoming passengers between the two countries this week.

The decision was confirmed by Prime Minister, Pohiva Tu‘i‘onetoa in Parliament, on Monday.

Tu’I’onetoa also said that he will be making a formal announcement soon, for the public  to be aware of the updates.

He also mentioned that a new airline called the Lulutai could possibly start flying the domestic routes in August.

The PM has reminded Members of Parliament that Tonga is fortunate because it remains coronavirus-free.

     

New Zealand awarded sevens titles

Tournaments in London, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong were cancelled on the men's tour, while the women's circuit lost rounds in the United States, Paris and Hong Kong.

"While it is very disappointing for players, fans, organisers and everyone involved ... the health and wellbeing of the rugby community and wider society remains the number one priority," World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement.

Covid-19: No new cases in New Zealand

There was no media conference from the ministry today.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said there were no new cases of the coronavirus, so total confirmed cases remained at 1178, with confirmed and probable cases combined totalling 1528.

The last time there were no new cases was on 19 June.

One person remained in Auckland City Hospital in a stable condition. There had been no recoveries since the previous day, the ministry reported, so the number of active cases was still 22.

Australia-NZ win bid to host FIFA World Cup

Their joint proposal beat a rival bid from Colombia to host the tournament which is being expanded to 32 teams.

Japan, who had also put forward a bid to stage the event, pulled out on Monday after they were ranked below the joint bid by world governing body FIFA's evaluation report.

The report highlighted the infrastructure and organisational advantages of the Australia/New Zealand bid which FIFA believed would make for a commercially successful tournament.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand was honoured to have been selected as co-hosts.

NZ cautious about Fiji 'Bula Bubble'

Wellington's response follows Fiji's announcement this week that it was hoping to establish a tourism bubble with Australia and New Zealand, to attract visitors.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said tourists could be contained and prevented from mixing with locals.

"VIP lanes - starting on the airplane, then from Nadi Airport onto designated transport to their designated resort or hotel where they'll remain throughout their stay", Mr Bainimarama said.

Fiji was identifying geographically-isolated resorts best suited for the Bula Bubble, he said.

One new COVID-19 case in New Zealand

The latest infection brings New Zealand's active case total to 11.

The new case is a woman in her 60s, who returned a positive test result while in managed isolation. She arrived in New Zealand on June 18 and travelled on an Air India repatriation flight, code AI1316. She had been staying at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland and was transferred to the Jet Park Hotel - which is operating as a quarantine facility - as per Ministry of Health protocol on Tuesday afternoon.  

New Covid-19 cases deflating Australia, Pacific bubble ideas

With 10 active cases and quarantine botch-ups, it could be months yet before Australian and Pacific visitors are allowed in.

Meanwhile, Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has warned its border will mostly likely be locked down until 2021.

That has businesses feeling nervous.

For Skyline - an adventure tourism business in Queenstown and Rotorua - the weekdays are the hardest.

Locals are visiting in the weekends and school holidays, but in between the luges and gondolas are quiet.

NZ reports two new cases of COVID-19 in isolation facilities

The first new case was a man in his 20s who flew into the country from India. The second was also a man in his 20s travelling from Los Angeles who tested positive at Jet Park Hotel, which he had been at since arriving in the country after experiencing respiratory symptoms.

"Sometimes the Jet Park facility is used for managed isolation if the other facilities are full. anyway. but all I'm told is there was a mix-up in the airport at the queues and they ended up at Jet Park, that's where they would’ve been transferred upon diagnosis anyway," Dr Bloomfield said.

Australia-NZ set to win rights to host World Cup

The Japanese Football Association has announced that Japan is withdrawing its bid, just days before football's world governing body holds a vote to determine the successful candidate.

Following an executive board meeting on Monday, the JFA withdrew its candidacy and decided to support the Australia/New Zealand bid which will go up against a bid from Colombia.

Earlier this month, FIFA rated the joint Australia/New Zealand bid as the best to host the tournament, with Japan in second place.

Two new COVID-19 cases in NZ managed isolation facilities

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the first case is a teenage girl who arrived on in New Zealand on 13 June and was travelling with her family, who have tested negative so far.

The teenager has been staying at the Novotel Auckland Airport hotel.

A New Zealander in isolation at the Auckland Airport Novotel yesterday said they were all in lockdown after being told of a new case at the hotel. However, the prime minister's office, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Health all declined to comment ahead of today's media briefing.