Lockdown

Covid lockdown strands tourists on 'China's Hawaii'

Authorities cancelled all flights and trains from Sanya, known as "China's Hawaii", on Saturday, a day after 263 positive cases were confirmed.

Travellers must now present five negative PCR tests over seven days before being allowed to leave.

China is the only major economy to still follow a "zero Covid" policy.

The country has recorded fewer than 15,000 deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, there have been concerns about the impact of the strict rules, including mass testing and local lockdowns, on the economy.

Tourists stuck in China resort city after Covid lockdown

Officials in Beihai locked down urban areas and ordered the mass testing of its 1.9m residents over the weekend.

It comes as concerns grow about the impact of China's "zero-Covid" policy on the world's second largest economy.

Last week, official figures showed the country's economy shrank in the second quarter of this year as Covid-19 restrictions hit firms and consumers.

Beihai, which is a popular summer destination in China's southern Guangxi region, recorded more than 450 infections in the five days to 16 July.

Australia honey bees put in lockdown due to deadly varroa parasite

The varroa destructor was first found at a port near Sydney last week but has since been spotted in hives 100km away.

The outbreak threatens to cost the honey and food production industries millions of dollars.

Keepers inside a new biosecurity zone will not be able to move hives, bees or honeycombs until further notice.

Australia was the only continent free of the varroa mites, which are the biggest threat to bees worldwide.

The pests - which are about the size of a sesame seed - weaken and kill colonies by feasting on them and transmitting viruses.

Chinese censors try to block video about lockdown conditions

The rules are intended by officials to contain the city's latest Covid-19 surge - the most severe wave Shanghai has experienced to date.

Public criticism of government policies is rare in China, but in the past few weeks some Shanghai residents have posted complaints on social media sites about the poor conditions they were being kept in.

Some in locked-down areas of Shanghai have been struggling to access food supplies, and forced to wait for government drop-offs of vegetables, meat and eggs.

Shanghai lockdown: Whole communities relocated in anti-Covid drive

An official notice from local Communist Party officials in an area in the north of the city details orders to transfer residents to quarantine facilities more than 100 miles (160km) away.

The plan is to move people from their homes in Pingwang to the neighbouring province of Zhejiang, where they will stay for at least a week. Young children, the elderly and those with disabilities could be excluded, according to the notice.

Lockdown extended to Niuas and Eua

The Government issued a public notice, announcing restrictions which include a midnight to 5am curfew, two metre social distancing rules, and restrictions on funeral gatherings.

The lockdown is in effect until 9 May.

There are currently no Covid transmissions on Niuafo'ou, Niuatoputapu and 'Eua, according to the latest Covid update from the Ministry of Health.

As of Sunday, there were a total of 1,759 active cases and 113 new cases, a significant decline in Covid numbers from last week. 

The official death toll remains at nine.

 

Tonga's netball win helps to cheer up the kingdom

The kingdom was unranked before the week-long competition, and a new team of uncapped players had to be hastily put together following disruptions due to the volcanic eruption and Covid pandemic.

Tonga laid down a marker with a crushing 85-42 triumph over Papua New Guinea in the opening round before upset wins over World Cup regulars Fiji (68-54) and Samoa (60-56).

The 2019 Pacific Games silver medallists beat Singapore 65-53 in their final group match before defeating the Fiji Pearls 60-52 in Saturday's grand final.

China announces largest city-wide lockdown

The city of Shanghai will be locked down in two stages over nine days while authorities carry out Covid-19 testing.

The important financial hub has battled a new wave of infections for nearly a month, although case numbers are not high by some international standards.

Authorities had so far resisted locking down the city of some 25 million people to avoid destabilising the economy.

But after Shanghai recorded its highest daily number of cases on Saturday since the early days of the pandemic, authorities appear to have changed course.

Tongans struggle to return to normality

Government departments, schools and most businesses are closed down, and the public required to stay indoors.

More than half of Tonga's Cabinet are in self-isolation after the Prime Minister tested positive for Covid-19.

On Friday, the government officially announced Tonga's first Covid-19 deaths.

These events come just over two months since Tonga endured the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai eruption and tsunami on January 15.

Vava’u and Tongatapu in one week lockdown

Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku confirmed the lockdown will run until 5am on Saturday, March 26, with daily curfew hours from 8pm to 8am.

Hu’akavameiliku said all retail and wholesale business, banks, gas stations, bread shops and schools will be closed for the duration of the one-week lockdown.

The only exceptions will be made for members of the public in the two islands needing to go to the pharmacies, farms and fishing for families needing urgent supplies. People will only be allowed to move for these needs from 8am to 8pm during the new lockdown period.