COVID-19 restrictions

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.

COVID-19 restrictions complicate plans for Sir Toke Talagi's state funeral

Sir Toke - who was the island's premier from 2008 until he was voted out in June - died this week after a long illness.

Tributes have been flowing in, including from Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, current premier Dalton Tagelagi and New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern.

But Radio Niue's Esther Pavihi says the COVID-19 pandemic and border restrictions have affected funeral plans.

58 Tongan nationals repatriated from Fiji under quarantine

A group of 58 passengers made the trip across on the government chartered Fiji Airways ATR aircraft, leaving Nausori just after 10am, arriving in Tonga around 1.15pm.

This followed Cabinet’s approval for the first repatriation flight to be brought in from Fiji.

A government sttament said all passengers went through the swab test for COVID-19 at the Tanoa Hotel quarantine facility before they were sent to their allocated rooms, where they will stay for the next 14 days.

Fiji sets up “Pacific Pathways” allowing travelers from Tonga, Tuvalu and Kiribati

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said upon arrival the travelers must spend 14 days in Fijian government quarantine facilities and then pass a COVID-19 test to enter society, both at their own cost or the cost of their respective government.

“As our risk assessments evolve, we may expand this arrangement to Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, “Mr Bainimarama said in a briefing in Suva today (Sunday).

Belgium's Prince Joachim fined for breaking Spain's lockdown

Prince Joachim was issued with the penalty for failing to observe a 14-day quarantine period after arriving in the country.

The prince, 28, arrived in Spain for an internship on 24 May, but attended a gathering in the southern city of Córdoba two days later.

He has since apologised.

"I deeply regret my actions," the prince said in a statement after reports about the party emerged in Spanish media late last month. He added that he would "accept the consequences".

He has 15 days to pay the fine, in which case the amount will be reduced by half.

Testing, tracing, and when to lift restrictions: WHO’s latest advice

He stressed that a mix of social distancing, testing, contact tracing and isolation, will be crucial to further curb the spread of the new coronavirus already devastating much of the globe. 

“We’re all learning all the time and adjusting our strategy, based on the latest available evidence”, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, summarising the guidance which will be available in full on the agency’s website on Tuesday.