COVID-19 pandemic

Australia in talks over quarantine-free travel

The first agreement would be with New Zealand, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Other nations that could follow suit are Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Pacific Island nations.

Australia closed its borders in March, early into the pandemic.

To date, it has recorded 27,263 cases and 898 deaths.

It has fared better than other nations but recently saw a second wave in the state of Victoria, forcing Melbourne and its surrounding areas into another lockdown. Infections have fallen dramatically since.

Movie-going could 'become extinct' warns director

Her new superhero movie has been delayed three times during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jenkins is among dozens of top Hollywood directors appealing to the US government to provide a financial lifeline to cinemas.

Her warning comes as cinemas in the UK are also struggling with a recent spate of delayed film releases.

"If we shut this down, this will not be a reversible process," she said in an interview with Reuters news agency. "We could lose movie theatre-going forever."

Covid forces England coach out of NZ tour

Thirlby said the positive test was a "shock" as she hadn't shown any symptons of coronavirus. She's now in self isolation.

All 16 players and other coaching staff and management have returned two negative COVID-19 tests.

Papua New Guinea further opens border, lifts Port Moresby curfew

The move is part of the latest changes to the nation's pandemic response and includes a lifting of the daily curfew in the capital Port Moresby.

Pandemic response controller, David Manning, said international flights are now open to Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Solomon Islands which are in addition to Australia which already has access.

Manning said passengers are still required to get approval from his office to travel to the country and must be able to show a negative test result for Covid-19 before being allowed on a flight.

Paris to shut bars and raise alert to maximum

Full detail of the new restrictions will be announced on Monday and will last for two weeks, the office of Prime Minister Jean Castex announced.

On Sunday France reported 12,565 cases of Covid-19.

It comes after the city of Marseille closed bars and restaurants last week.

The maximum alert level in France comes into force when the infection rate in a locality exceeds 250 per 100,000 people and at least 30% of intensive care beds are reserved for Covid-19 patients.

Cineworld to shut down UK screens after Bond film delay

As first reported in the Sunday Times, the firm is writing to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden to say the industry is now "unviable".

The firm says it has been hit by delays in the release of big-budget films, putting 5,500 jobs at risk.

The premiere of James Bond film No Time To Die has been postponed twice and is now due for release in April 2021.

It is hoped that the Cineworld cinemas will be able to reopen next year, with staff being asked to accept redundancy in the hope of rejoining the company when theatres open again.

Coronavirus: Australia opens 'travel zone' to New Zealanders

People will be able to fly from New Zealand to New South Wales and the Northern Territory - and avoid mandatory quarantine - from 16 October.

The nations closed their borders in March in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Officials say the risks are now low enough to justify a "travel bubble".

"The establishment of a travel zone between Australia and New Zealand has been finalised," said Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

Fears rugby league players from region missing out on NRL due to Covid-19

The global pandemic has wreaked havoc on the domestic game in Aotearoa, with the national secondary schools and youth tournaments among a host of events to be cancelled.

Experienced administrator and rugby league agent, Jordan Friend, said the coronavirus has been devastating for the development of young players in New Zealand.

"Cancellations of these tournaments will affect players in terms of less exposure, but also mentally for kids not getting that opportunity," he said.

UK imposes 6-month curbs against virus

After scientific warnings that deaths could soar without urgent action, Johnson stopped short of another full lockdown as he did in March but warned that further measures could come if the disease was not suppressed.

"We reserve the right to deploy greater firepower, with significantly greater restrictions," he told parliament following emergency meetings with ministers and leaders of the United Kingdom's devolved governments.

Just weeks after urging people to start returning to workplaces, Johnson advised office workers to stay at home if they could.

Pacific women entrepreneurs suffer more under Covid-19: trade commissioner

Caleb Jarvis says despite most of the region being free of the virus, the economic impact of closed borders has been detrimental.

Jarvis says this is evident in countries reliant on tourism - a sector with a majority of female workers.

From capital to develop and export goods like coffee, to training and support with digital platforms, Mr Jarvis says many women are balancing with being the primary caregivers at home.

According to a survey conducted by PTI, the economic impacts of Covid-19 on female-led businesses in the Pacific continue to rise.