The Solomon Islands Department of Immigration (DOI) has issued new directives that "all air passengers who have traveled from or transited through China 14 days before arriving in the Solomon Islands will not be permitted entry."

The ruling also extends to passengers from affected countries traveling via Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, and Papua New Guinea.

Flights from Brisbane to Honiara, currently considered low risk, are not included in the directive.

However, all passengers originating from Australia are still subject to strict assessment by local medical authorities on arrival at Honiara International Airport.

In a further development, the Solomon Islands Customs & Excise Division (SICED) has announced all international vessels arriving in the Port of Honiara will, with immediate effect, require health and quarantine clearance before being allowed to berth.

This ruling extends to cruise vessels which will be permitted entry on a case by case basis.

The next cruise ship scheduled to arrive in Honiara on 22 February is the Noble Caledonia-flagged MS Caledonia Sky, one of 10 cruise ships visiting the Solomon Islands this year.

To date no cases of the coronavirus have been detected in the Solomon Islands, according to Tourism Solomons.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said a vaccine for the coronavirus could be ready in 18 months, as the UN health body announced that the official name for the virus would be COVID-19.

The announcement came as the death toll in mainland China has now reached more than 1,000, after 108 people died from the virus on Monday - the highest daily toll since the outbreak began late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.