COVID-19

Coronavirus: Australia reverses 30 minute hair appointment rule

However, while appointments can now go on for longer, hairdressers and barbers must still observe the "four square metre per person" rule.

Salons have been allowed to remain open, despite other businesses being closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

But some have called for all salons and barbers to be shut during the outbreak, which has killed 13 in Australia.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a number of new restrictions, which saw play centres, libraries and museums closed from midnight on Wednesday.

RFU to ask Eddie Jones to take a pay cut as pandemic hits finances

The RFU is facing revenue losses in the region of £45-50million over the next 18 months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Discussions are being held with Jones and his coaching assistants over a reduction in salary, the PA news agency understands.

Jones is the highest paid coach in international rugby, earning in the region of £750,000 per year.

The 60-year-old’s current deal expires in July 2021 and as yet there has been no move to extend his contract until the next World Cup in 2023.

Coronavirus: Spain’s death toll surpasses China’s

The number of deaths has risen by 738 in just 24 hours to a total of 3434 - a record spike for Spain.

By comparison, China has officially reported 3285 deaths, while Italy - the worst affected country - has 6820.

Spain's prime minister will later ask MPs to extend his country's state of emergency for another two weeks.

Lawmakers are expected to agree to Pedro Sánchez's request for lockdown measures to stay in place until 11 April. Under the rules, people are banned from leaving home except for buying essential supplies and medicines, or for work.

Tahiti tourist exodus continues amid flight cancellations

The French High Commission in French Polynesia said since last Friday a total of 2600 tourists had been able to fly out of Tahiti.

This Friday, a last flight bound for France is scheduled to take off before regular services are suspended until at least late April.

The High Commission said since the start of the crisis an air bridge set up with the domestic carrier Air Tahiti had allowed 2,500 holiday makers to fly from the outer islands back to Tahiti.

Six from Tokelau scholarship group stranded in Fiji

They are part of a group of 20 scholarship students and family who were in Fiji to study.

The head of Tokelau's public service said they tried to repatriate them but most were now stranded in Fiji and New Zealand because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Aukusitino Vitale said 14 of the students were currently in quarantine in Auckland.

Mr Vitale said a public servant who was on a training course in Fiji was also now isolated in Wellington.

He said five of those stranded in Fiji belong to one family.

Tonga declares lockdown starting this weekend

The lock-down requires everyone to stay at home.

The exception to the isolation order includes purchasing or supplying essential consumer goods, obtaining medical supplies or seeking medical assistance, access to banking and other financial services and attending work as a member of an essential service provider.

Night-time curfews will be in place from 8pm to 6am and will be enforced by the Police, the Armed Forces and other authorised officers.

All licensed bars, restaurants, night clubs, bottle stores and liquor manufacturers are to close.

Covid-19: Pacific fisheries surveillance continuing amid pandemic

That comes as the agency prepares to wrap up the multi-country surveillance, Operation Rai Balang, on Friday.

The two-week operation saw coordinated air and surface surveillance assets from eight Pacific Island countries and four regional defence partners covering 14.1 million square kilometres of ocean.

There were 108 sightings and 24 ships boarded during the operation.

No illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing was detected, which the agency said was a sign the region's strict regulations and surveillance measures were working.

Fiji's airport closes and authorities investigate Covid-19 breaches

The government said three flights bringing Fijian nationals home would be allowed and passengers would be required to quarantine.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said all local shipping services would cease from Sunday.

He said this was to help stop the coronavirus from reaching the outer islands.

Fiji Airways will operate its final scheduled flight between Nadi-Narita tomorrow, and the return Narita-Nadi on Saturday.

The airline said this flight was to assist citizens and residents to return home to Japan, as well as bring Fijians based in Japan back.

Tonga postpones Heilala 2020 because of Covid-19 threat

The Ministry of Tourism has made the announcement the Heilala Festival, which celebrates the King's birthday through various shows and events, will be postponed indefinitely.

The decision comes after the government announced current restrictions towards public gatherings, a practice of social distancing and major events to be banned.

Last week Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa declared a month-long state of emergency for Tonga, due to the rapid increase of Novel Coronavirus cases in the Pacific.

Tonga Red Cross to give out Covid-19 prevention information

Volunteers have been working with the Ministry of Health to create guidelines tailored to a range of communities in Tonga including families, the elderly, youth and the disabled.

The leaflets include information about prevention, symptoms of coronavirus, and services available to help with any queries about the virus.

Communications Officer Polikalepo Kefu said the main message Tonga Red Cross Society wanted to get across to the public was how to prevent coronavirus.