Air New Zealand says it doesn’t know of any impending announcement regarding a two-way travel bubble but it is ramping up its operations to the islands from 10 May.

The Cook Islands are Covid-19 free but so far only quarantine-free travel to New Zealand has been established.

But a number of signs are giving Cook Island tourism operators hope that quarantine-free visits are on the verge of happening.

Cook Islands Tourism Industry Committee president Liana Scott runs the 30-room Muri Beach Club Hotel in Rarotonga and said a trans-Tasman bubble opening in just under two weeks had exciting potential for the country.

“So we’re really excited to have signs of it moving in the right direction. Obviously they’ve just announced the opening with Australia from the 19th onwards so we’re really excited in that it potentially gives us the opportunity to tap into two markets, New Zealand and Australia,” Scott said.

But it still remained unknown if travel between the three countries will be allowed, she said.

Her optimism came as the Cook Islands secretary of health was in Wellington working with New Zealand Ministry of Health officials.

And Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown alluded to a bubble in a statement, saying the country was going to capitalise on its New Zealand meetings shortly.

His nation’s “high level of health preparedness” would reduce the risk of the virus entering the country – which has so far-remain entirely Covid-19-free.

Scott said quarantine-free travel could not come soon enough.


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