Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Travel Bubble With Cook Islands Resumes Today

  • Two-way quarantine-free travel resumes with Cook Islands today
  • Only country in the world Kiwis can visit without restrictions
  • Unique opportunity to visit island paradise without other tourists

Cook Islands tourism restarts today, ending a five-month border closure due to COVID-19.

Graeme West, General Manager Australasia for Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, said today’s first flight of quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to the Cook Islands is very significant for the country and means people can start rebuilding their lives after a dreadful 2020 and 2021 for the vitally important tourism sector.

“It’s a huge relief all round and people are looking forward with much excitement to welcoming Kiwis back to our beautiful islands,” he said. “We’re ready to go and to showcase everything that we’re renowned for - our warm tropical weather, stunning natural beauty, friendliness, hospitality and great food.”

Extraordinary time to visit

Mr West said it was an incredibly special time to visit Rarotonga and Aitutaki. With borders only open to people travelling from New Zealand, it was possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity for Kiwis to have the islands all to themselves.

“Kiwis are always welcomed very warmly in the Cook Islands and tourism providers will be doing everything possible to ensure people have a fantastic holiday. We’re waiting with open arms to greet guests.

“And for Kiwis keen for offshore adventure, the Cook Islands is the only international destination right now that they can travel to and from without quarantine or isolation at either end of their trip.”

Economic boost

Tourism is the mainstay of the Cook Islands’ economy comprising 70% of GDP.

Last year, the travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Islands was in place for just three months, between May and August, following a previous 15-month border closure due to COVID-19. Mr West said this has caused financial hardship for many people. He said the Government had done an exceptional job of keeping the Cook Islands COVID-19 free so far and that the health and safety of its people and visitors had been its number one priority. “98% of the population 12 years and over are fully vaccinated and booster shots are currently underway, with vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years starting soon.”

Requirements for travel to the Cook Islands from today (Friday 14 January 2022) are:

Vaccinated travellers only

All visitors must be aged over 12 years and be fully vaccinated. Once children 5-11 years of age in the Cook Islands and NZ are vaccinated, they will be allowed to visit.

COVID-19 test required before departure

Visitors must take an accredited PCR COVID-19 test no more than 48 hours before departure from Auckland and show the negative result at departure and on arrival. Travel to Aitutaki is permitted with no further test required for those connecting straight through from Rarotonga, but travellers who are staying in Rarotonga prior to going to Aitutaki, will be required to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test before boarding their domestic flight.

Contact tracing and pre-arrival forms

Visitors will be required to complete a Cook Islands contact form no more than 96 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 for travellers can be found on & will be updated progressively as various protocols are confirmed.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Federated Farmers: NAIT Levy Increases Must Achieve Accurate, User-friendly System
Nobody welcomes extra costs but if OSPRI is to catch-up on under investment in the NAIT platform and deliver on its workability and farmer support, levy increases are probably necessary, Federated Farmers says... More>>

Westpac: More Job Opportunities, But Growth In Workers’ Earnings Remains Subdued

The Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index rose 1.2 points in the December quarter, to a level of 106.9. This was the sixth straight rise in the index since the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. Michael Gordon, Acting Chief Economist for Westpac, noted that the rise in the index has largely been driven by perceptions... More>>

Statistics: Card Spending Continues To Increase As COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

The busy Christmas period combined with easing COVID-19 restrictions helped to increase card spending in December 2021, Stats NZ said today... More>>

TradeMe: Job Market Ends 2021 On A High With Record Number Of Vacancies
The New Zealand job market finished 2021 on a high note, with the ball still firmly in the job hunters’ court, according to the analysis of 69,600 vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs for the quarter ending 31 December (Q4)... More>>

Insurance Council of New Zealand: September South Island Windstorm Cost $36.5 M Raises 2021 Extreme Weather Claims Total To $321.6 M

Gale force winds and storms between 9 and 13 September 2021 resulted in insurers supporting communities to the tune of $36.5 m. This is a significant rise, of $16.7 m, on preliminary figures for the event and lifts the end of year total for all extreme weather events in 2021 to $321.6 m... More>>

Statistics: Building Consents Hit New Highs In November
There were a record 48,522 new homes consented in the year ended November 2021, Stats NZ said today. This was up 26 percent compared with the year ended November 2020... More>>