Coronavirus: Pacific borders tighten further

Pacific countries have further tightened border measures to try to keep the coronavirus from gaining a foothold in the islands.

Six cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Pacific so far - the first three in French Polynesia and, last night, three more were confirmed in Guam.

Health officials have made no secret of their fears about the rapidly spreading virus, and what it could do in isolated countries with limited health resources. Many have pointed to the devastation wrought by the measles in Samoa last year.

In Samoa, the government further tightened travel restrictions to keep out the coronavirus over the weekend.

Travellers from 33 countries - including Australia, but not New Zealand - are now required to spend at least two weeks in self-quarantine and provide coronavirus test results no more than five days old.

Anyone entering from any country - including returning residents - must show proof of having had a medical check within three days of arrival.

In French Polynesia, all cruise ships have been banned and work permits suspended. Anyone entering must now also show medical certificates.

The Cooks Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga have also banned cruise ships.

This weekend, Tonga also declared a public health emergency, giving powers to authorities to ban mass gatherings and other events, including shutting kava bars.