COVID-19 pandemic

New Zealand Rugby scraps all first-class, club and school matches for this weekend

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) made the announcement on Wednesday after the return of Covid-19 cases in the community in Auckland.

From Tuesday midnight, the government announced that Auckland and Coromandel will remain at level 4 for seven days, while the rest of New Zealand is at level 4 for three days – at this stage.

There were seven community cases as of Wednesday afternoon’s Covid-19 press conference.

The next rounds of the national provincial championship (NPC), Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) and Heartland Championship will be played at a later date, NZR said.

Amazon predicts slower sales growth as COVID boost eases

Customers turned to Amazon and other online platforms during the COVID crisis, leading to record profits for the US giant.

But Amazon's breakneck growth is beginning to level as customers start to return to bricks and mortar shops.

Revenue climbed 27% to £113bn (£80bn) in its second quarter, but this missed analyst expectations.

Amazon shares fell 5% in after-hours trade.

Australia to halve arrivals and trial home quarantine

The country's strict border rules have only allowed Australians and people with exemptions to enter.

From 14 July, Australia will accept just over 3,000 people a week - a measure likely to last until next year.

The announcement sparked dismay among Australians who are overseas and separated from their families.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the measure would reduce pressure on the country's quarantine system.

Virus leaks from hotel quarantine - which is mandatory for all arrivals - have been the source of numerous outbreaks across the country.

Vanuatu tourism partners create awareness on support programmes for industry recovery

Director of DoT Jerry Spooner said, “It is critical our provincial managers are fully trained and aware of the Government support programmes that have been developed for tourism operators to ensure they can assist all of our tourism operators in the provinces to access these programmes”.

The programmes include the Tourism Business Support Programme, COVID Safe Business Operations Guidelines for Workplaces and the Produktif Turism Blong Yumi Initiative.

At the training, VBL Media also presented a step-by-step guide on how to use the new National Booking Platform.

Rugby League World Cup still on track

The Rugby League World Cup for men, women and wheelchair athletes will draw teams from 21 nations - including several which are still struggling with Covid-19.

Thirty-two teams from countries within the United Kingdom, Europe, North, South and Central America, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean have qualified.

The tournament in England runs between 23 October and 27 November and for the first time, all three competitions will run concurrently.

Violence and harassment, statistics in the Pacific are dire


The Pacific Community (SPC) is convening the 14th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and the 7th Meeting of the Pacific Ministers for Women: "Our Ocean, Our Heritage, Our Future - Empowering All Women in the Blue Pacific Continent."

This event will bring together decision-makers, development partners, research institutions and civil society organisations.

End of Perth Covid-19 lockdown 'too early to predict

“Right now, it’s too early to predict what will happen come Tuesday,” Mark McGowan​ said at a press conference on Sunday.

While Perth is in lockdown, travel between New Zealand and Western Australia remains on hold. There has been no indication from the Government or airlines on when flights will resume.

Health advice around the Covid-19 situation in Perth is due on Monday, but McGowan warned some public safety measures may remain even if lockdown ends.

Pandemic sports crowd world record set as 78,113 attend Australian Rules match

The crowd of 78,113 on Sunday topped the 67,000 who attended a Twenty20 cricket international between India and England at Ahmedabad last month.

The annual Anzac Day match is one of the traditional highlights of the AFL season, when sport combines with a solemn national commemoration. Anzac Day – April 25 – is the day on which Australians commemorate those who served in both world wars and in other conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

The match did not take place last year because of the pandemic and crowds since have been down on previous years.

400 jobs for Fijians as US TV show to begin filming amid Covid-19

Filming of the reality TV show will be held on the Mamanuca Islands amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the launch of the $US17,000 locally-produced movie Him - The Angry One in Suva last Saturday, Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya said the US Survivor show has a budget of more than $US40 million.

Mr Koya said the Survivor Series would spend about $US15m while shooting in Fiji.

The audio-visual industry is increasingly becoming a critical industry, especially in Fiji's economic recovery post-covid, the minister said.

Luke Evans' Quarantine Transformation Proves Hard Work Pays Off

The Murder Mystery star has never looked better in a new set of transformation photos he posted to Instagram.

Luke shared the side-by-side shots on Friday, March 19, and let's just say his fitness regimen has really put our quarantine hobbies to shame. 

He wrote, "8 months of work but I got there. June 2020 - February 2021." Not bad for 41 years of age, or as he noted, "#nearly42."