The Cook Islands bubble will open later this month, allowing two-way quarantine-free travel between both countries, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

Cabinet ministers have signed off on a 17 May start date, pending final confirmation by New Zealand’s Director-General of Health and the Cook Islands Secretary of Health.

It will be subject to final checks such as airline and airport preparedness.

New Zealand would be providing the Cook Islands with enough vaccine to immunise its population. That roll-out would also commence later this month but is not considered a pre-condition for the bubble.

“There is no vaccination under way in the Cooks,” she said, but the population in Rarotonga was worth one day’s vaccination in New Zealand.

As for travel between Australia, Cook Islands and New Zealand, she said at this stage, the Cook Islands were asking anyone travelling from Australia to go via New Zealand, but that could change.

“Having that triangular movement is something we are very open to.”

There will be no requirement for a pre-departure Covid-19 test, but travellers will have to complete a travel declaration, provide a health declaration and there will be random health checks at airports.

No one should travel if they are unwell, if they are waiting on a Covid-19 test, or if they have been in contact with anyone suspected to have Covid-19.


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