Destinations

New Zealand to welcome back Cook Islanders with one-way travel ‘bubble’

The New Zealand government has announced that Cook Islanders will be able to resume quarantine-free travel to the Land of the Long White Cloud from tomorrow.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the one-way travel ‘bubble’ would be able to commence following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID-free status and the implementation of strict health and border protocols.

“Both countries continue to take a very careful approach to managing our borders and preventing the spread of COVID remains our paramount concern,” she said.

“As such, strict protocols will be in place, including pre-departure health requirements and separation from other travellers at Auckland International Airport.

“New Zealand and the Cook Islands are united in our commitment to protect our communities from COVID-19.”

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown said: “I welcome the support of and joint effort with the New Zealand government to institute this safe travel corridor which will enable essential health, education, economic, and social connections for the first time in many months for our people.”

However, Ardern noted the announcement does not change the criteria for entry to the Cook Islands, which is limited to Cook Islanders and current holders of work and residence permits who meet the country’s health entry requirements.

“We said we would take a phased approach to resuming two-way travel and will do so only once all safety protocols can be met,” Jacinda Ardern said.

New Zealand is hoping to resume two-way quarantine free travel with the Cook Islands and Australia within the first quarter of 2021.


Featured image source: iStock/DoraDalton

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