COVID-19 restrictions

No border opening yet as Health works on vaccination in Tonga

In an interview with Nuku’alofa Times, Dr Siale Akauola says even though countries like Australia and Fiji have indicated they will open borders in November to those who have had the full vaccination of two shots, the island kingdom remains closed.

“We need to have 70 percent vaccination coverage of all population,” Dr Siale said. 

Melbourne restrictions return as cluster grows

A man aged in his 60s returned a positive result this morning, and has been added to the four cases reported yesterday.

Acting Premier James Merlino said the man had symptoms prior to the first identified case, suggesting he could be the possible source case for the outbreak.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton said testing had determined the new cases were the "so-called Indian variant".

"It is as infectious as any other variant that has been reported historically, so it is by no means want to be complacent about," he said.

New South Wales extends its Covid-19 restrictions for one week

NSW Health said investigations were still ongoing into how a man in his 50s contracted the virus, before passing it onto his wife.

Most restrictions will remain in place across Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and Central Coast) until 17 May.

From Monday, customers of retail and hospitality venues will be able to shop without wearing a mask, however public-facing retail staff must continue to do so.

New Covid-19 restrictions in Fiji

The patient, a woman and her family were a super spreaders event on the weekend.

Fijian authorities have shut down businesses which require public interaction and halted travel in and out of the country in an escalation of Covid-19 containment measures.

This is after confirmation yesterday that it has had its first community transmission in the capital city Suva in a year.

The latest patient is a 40 year-old woman from a settlement in the densely populated suburb of Cunningham.

UK regional rules 'probably going to get tougher', says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson told the BBC stronger measures may be required in parts of the country in the coming weeks.

He said this included the possibility of keeping schools closed, although this is not "something we want to do".

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for new England-wide restrictions within 24 hours.

Sir Keir said coronavirus was "clearly out of control" and it was "inevitable more schools are going to have to close".

It comes as the UK recorded more than 50,000 new confirmed Covid cases for the sixth day in a row, with 54,990 announced on Sunday.

Couple holds 10,000 people drive-thru wedding in Malaysia

But one Malaysian duo has managed to dodge restrictions which would have limited the guest list to 20 and welcomed a reported 10,000 people to their nuptials, all in a Covid-secure manner.

Can't be done, you might say.

But it can, if you make your wedding a drive-thru event.

On Sunday morning, the newly-weds were seated outside a grand government building in Putrajaya, south of the capital Kuala Lumpur, while guests slowly drove past in their cars.

The windows had to remain rolled up and guests only got a socially distant wave from the wedding party.

France replaces lockdown with evening curfew

People will not be allowed out the house between 20:00 and 06:00 without an authorisation form.

Christmas Eve will be exempt, but the rule will stay in place for New Year's Eve. Bars and restaurants are to remain closed until at least 20 January.

The number of people in France who have died from coronavirus infections rose by 790 on Tuesday to a total of 59,072.

People in France are no longer required to print or download an official justification for leaving their homes during the day.

Foreign horses set to dominate an empty Flemington race course

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the tens of thousands of fans that normally turn up will be forced to watch from elsewhere.

Foreign horses have won eight of the last 10 Melbourne Cups and they again lead the favouritism for the $8.2 million race which starts at 5pm New Zealand time.

There are nine european entrants with Irish pair Anthony Van Dyck and Tiger Moth, who are both trained by Aiden O'Brien, among the leading contenders.

Prince of Arran, Master of Reality and Twilight Payment are the other heavily backed foreign raiders.

Covid-19 alert level restrictions extended across New Zealand

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland will remain at level 2.5 and the rest of the country at level 2.

Cabinet will review Auckland's alert level settings on Monday 21st September.

"With a view to increase gathering limits for Auckland if we are in a similar position of containing the cluster, if the change is agreed on, it will come into effect on the 23rd of September," says Ardern.

Air NZ sells 70,000 seats in six hours after rules relaxed

As soon as the announcement was made that distancing would no longer be required on planes, Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran says the airline immediately made more tickets available.

"That put on the market about 160,000 more seats."

In six hours, the airline sold 70,000 seats yesterday, he says.

Foran told Morning Report this is what happens when the airline has the opportunity to operate the domestic airline at full potential.

During level one, the airline's prices increased by 13 percent.