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

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The Cook Islands Government announced today that two-way quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands will resume on 14 January 2022 (NZ time). 

This means that 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. 

Graeme West, General Manager of Cook Islands Tourism Corporation Australasia, said the Cook Islands was very fortunate to have remained COVID-19 free so far.  He said that the Cook Islands Government has prioritised the health and wellbeing of its residents and visitors throughout the pandemic.  Over 96% 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.” 

There are a few simple steps that travellers must take before and during their holiday, with full details becoming available on www.cookislands.travel progressively over the next few weeks.

Vaccinated travellers only 

All visitors must be aged 12 years and over and must be fully vaccinated or provide a certified medical exemption. Children under 12 years of age will be permitted to enter the Cook Islands once children between 5-11 years of age in New Zealand have begun being vaccinated.

COVID-19 test required before departure 

Travellers must take a COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before departure and show the negative result at departure and on arrival. No test is required on arrival in the Cook Islands. Travel to Aitutaki is permitted, with the only requirement being that travellers will undergo a Rapid Antigen Test before boarding their flight from Rarotonga to Aitutaki. A further test may be required on Aitutaki.

Only open to New Zealand

This travel corridor is only open between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, and the Cook Islands maritime border remains closed. 

Contact tracing and pre-arrival forms 

Visitors will be required to complete a Cook Islands contact form no more than 72 hours before departing New Zealand. To assist with tracing in the Cook Islands, travellers will be required to download the Cooksafe+ Bluetooth app as well as use their personal Cooksafe QR code card given on arrival. 

FAQs detailing what travellers need to know before departing New Zealand can be found on www.cookislands.travel This will be updated progressively as various protocols are confirmed..

Image – David Kirkland

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