More Top Stories

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Covid-19 in the Pacific

Monday 7 March 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Pacific Islands, Regional


Covid-19 in the Pacific

Pandemic-related restrictions in French Polynesia have been eased further by exempting more people from the obligation to be vaccinated.

Only people working in health care, education and public transport are now required to be vaccinated.

This means those working in tourism-related activities and other services including restaurants and shops no longer need to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

However, 98.5 percent of those originally meant to be inoculated have had their vaccinations.

A study shows that 95.6 percent of people now have antibodies

Last month, the assembly lifted the vaccination obligation for its own members, with the authorities saying a further easing could follow this week.

The law making vaccinations mandatory had been adopted six months ago, but its enforcement was delayed because of protests.

Over 600 Covid cases in New Caledonia

New Caledonia has recorded another 635 Covid-19 cases.

The latest case number was issued on Friday bringing the total number of cases since September to almost 57,000.

Another person died raising the death toll to 302.

There are 23 people hospitalised with Covid-19 and two are in intensive care.

The health pass, which is needed to access a range of venues, is only valid for people who have received the booster shot.

Tonga's govt eases lockdown restrictions

Lockdown restrictions are easing down in Tonga today with liquor stores allowed to open for the first time in over a month.

Restrictions have also been lifted on certain sporting activities such as outdoor tennis and golf.

An 8pm to 5am curfew remains in place and the public are still required to stay at home and wear face masks in public at all times.

People can leave home to get vaccinated, collect medical supplies, tend plantations and livestock, shop and access financial services.

Most businesses in Tonga are now allowed to open but cannot serve customers who don't wear face masks.

Restaurants and all food outlets allowed to serve takeaways while churches, kava clubs and schools remain closed.

For the last two weeks, restrictions have been lifted on funerals and weddings celebrations with attendances limited to 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors.

Tonga's nationwide lockdown has been in force since February 2 and has seen a gradual relaxation in rules as more Tongans become vaccinated.

More than 87% of Tonga's eligible population has so far been double vaccinated, with 40% receiving the booster shot.

American Samoa now has over 200 Covid cases

Fourteen new Covid-19 positive cases have been recorded in American Samoa bringing the territory's total to 229 positive cases.

The American Samoa Health Department said that three individuals are in hospital with Covid-19.

So far the community transmission of Covid-19 has been contained on the main island of Tutuila and there are no reports of cases in the Manu'a island group.

Drive-thru Covid testing and vaccinations at the airport was packed from start to finish.
Drive-thru Covid testing and vaccinations at the airport was packed from start to finish. Photo: Supplied

A US Defense flight arrived on Friday with vaccines and federal personnel as well as American Samoa's Congresswoman Uifa'atali Amata.

A vaccine drive-thru at Pago Pago International Airport over the weekend administered more 1,500 doses.

Covid cases in the Cook Islands reach over 100

There are now 123 active cases of Covid-19 in the Cook Islands.

Almost half the population of Rarotonga has been tested following the government's call to determine the size of the community outbreak.

More than 4500 RAT tests have been carried out on the island in the past week.

74 percent of the population have had their booster and almost a quarter the 5-11 year-olds in the Cook Islands are fully vaccinated.