Cook Islands announces two-way quarantine-free travel with NZ

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The Cook Islands government has announced two-way quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands will resume in January 2022.

Travelling during covid-19 pandemic. New Zealand passport and protective mask on black suitcase

Photo: 123rf.com

This announcement means the Cook Islands will be the only country that people in New Zealand can travel to and from for a holiday, without any quarantine or isolation from 14 January 2022.

However some families will be unable to make the trip all together, with children under the age of 12 not permitted to travel until the New Zealand government receives approval to vaccinate children between 5-11 years old.

Travellers will be required to take a Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours before departing and provide evidence of a negative test results both on departure and arrival in New Zealand. No test will be required upon arrival in the Cook Islands.

New Zealanders will be able to travel from the main island of Rarotonga to the island of Aitutaki, with the only requirement being that travellers undergo a Rapid Antigen Test before boarding their flight to Aitutaki. A further test may be required on Aitutaki.

Cook Islands Tourism general manager Graeme West said the Cook Islands was very fortunate to have remained Covid-19 free so far.

He said the Cook Islands government has prioritised the health and wellbeing of its residents and visitors throughout the pandemic. More than 96 percent of its eligible population are fully vaccinated.

“We were open for just three months from May to August this year until the current Delta outbreak in New Zealand meant that the border had to be closed. We are absolutely delighted that we can safely welcome fully vaccinated visitors from New Zealand back again very soon.”

To assist with contact tracing in the Cook Islands, Travellers will be required to complete a Cook Islands contact form 72 hours before departing New Zealand and also use the Pacific nation’s own app-based contact tracing system.

The travel corridor is exclusively open between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, and the Cook Islands maritime border will remain closed.

The Cook Islands government said full details will become available on their tourism website over the next few weeks.

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