What you need to know before travelling to the Cook Islands
Frequently Asked Questions about TRAVEL TO THE COOK ISLANDS
Is travel to the Cook Islands affected with New Zealand currently at RED in the Traffic Light System?
No. The Cook Islands Quarantine Free Travel (QFT) settings with New Zealand remain unchanged. The air border between New Zealand and the Cook Islands remains open for commercial travel.
Who can travel to the Cook Islands?The Cook Island continues quarantine free travel with New Zealand.
All travellers to the Cook Islands are classified into 3 Groups:
- Group 1: Visitors (Tourist)
- Group 2: Diplomats & Permit Holders
- Group 3: Cook Islanders & Cook Islands Permanent Residents
Entry Requirements for Group 1: Visitors (Tourist)
- Have been in New Zealand or the Cook Islands for a continuous period of at least 10 days before the scheduled departure date of their flight to the Cook Islands
- Be fully vaccinated, which means 14 days must have elapsed after the final dose and provide evidence of vaccination
- Have completed the Cook Islands Ministry of Health Travel Declaration online form no earlier than 96 hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight to the Cook Islands
- Provide a negative result from an RT-PCR COVID-19 test administered no earlier than 48 hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight to the Cook Islands.
What evidence do I need to prove my vaccination status?An official vaccination certificate from the country of administration will be required as proof of vaccination status.
For New Zealand travellers, you will need an ‘International Travel Vaccination Certificate’.
Note this is different to the ‘My Vaccine Pass’ issued for use within New Zealand. A My Vaccine Pass is not accepted.
Are there any forms I must fill out prior to travelling?
Yes. Every traveller must complete the Cook Islands Ministry of Health Travel Declaration no more than 96 hours before departing New Zealand. You will not be able to board the plane if you have not completed it. It asks you about your travel plans and contact details. Everyone travelling must complete the declaration, or have one completed for them.
Once you submit this form, you will also receive your CookSafe QR Code which can be used while in the Cook Islands to tag-in at locations for contact tracing purposes. Save this to your phone, or print a copy to bring with you.
Please note that there is a dedicated help line available should you have difficulties completing the form. It will be available from Mon-Sun 8am to 9pm (CKT). All queries after this time will be attended to the following day. Please contact +682 56180 or email: [email protected]
You also need to complete the New Zealand Nau Mai Rā Travel Declaration form before you fly back to New Zealand. It is a good idea to complete this form before you leave New Zealand for the Cook Islands, so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re on holiday.
How do I get a RT-PCR COVID-19 test before I travel to the Cook Islands?
Pre-departure testing is required for all passengers travelling into the Cook Islands.
All passengers are required to have a RT-PCR COVID-19 test within 48 hours before their scheduled flight from AUCKLAND to Rarotonga. Please note that a PCR saliva test is acceptable.
Passengers will need to have both their COVID-19 test sample taken and the result returned within 48 hours of the scheduled AUCKLAND departure time. They must have their negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result documentation ready and available for check-in and immigration processing.
The evidence of a negative result from an RT-PCR COVID-19 test must be provided in an electronic or hard copy document that confirms:
- the person’s name; and
- the person’s date of birth or passport number; and
- the date and time the test was conducted; and
- the name of the laboratory that carried out the test; and
- the type of test carried out; and
- the test result.
RT-PCR COVID-19 pre-departure tests from free Community testing stations in New Zealand, and text message results are not accepted. All tests must be conducted by New Zealand Ministry of Health accredited laboratories who will provide supporting travel documentation. There are multiple locations where these tests can be done, including through your GP, and a sample of those locations is below:RAKO SCIENCE (accredited)
- Auckland (6 locations) – Open 7 days
- Hamilton (2 locations) – Open Monday to Saturday
- Tauranga – Open Monday to Saturday
- Napier – Open Monday to Friday
- Wellington – Open Monday to Friday
- Christchurch (International Airport) – Open 7 days
- Open 7 days: Monday to Friday 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Saturday 8:30am – 11:30am, and Sunday 4:00pm – 6:20pm
This information is correct at time of writing. Visitors should check with the COVID test provider before travelling to the testing facility. These tests are at the passengers expense. If the COVID-19 pre-departure test returns positive you will not be able to travel to the Cook Islands, follow the New Zealand Health Advice.
What if my flight is delayed or rescheduled after I have taken my RT-PCR COVID-19 test?
If the person's flight is delayed or rebooked, the person must also provide a negative result from a supervised Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) administered no earlier than 12 hours before the new scheduled departure time of their flight to the Cook Islands.
However, if the person does not leave New Zealand on a flight to the Cook Islands within 24 hours after their original scheduled departure time, the entry requirements for Group 1 mentioned above must be complied with. For more information regarding entry requirements please contact [email protected]
Can I travel to Aitutaki or any other Outer Island (Pa Enua)?
Yes, but in order to protect our Outer Islands (Pa Enua) travel to these Islands has been categorized by 2 bubbles:
- Bubble 1: Rarotonga & Aitutaki
- Bubble 2: Rarotonga & other Pa Enua (except Aitutaki)
For all travel in Bubbles 1 and 2, you must meet the following requirements:
Bubble 1: Travel from Rarotonga to Aitutaki
- Provide a negative result from a supervised Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) administered on the day of departure to Aitutaki. A Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) testing facility is available at the Rarotonga Airport with tests costing $10 per person. If you are transiting directly from New Zealand to Aitutaki, a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) test is required.
- Provide evidence of full vaccination or has a Pa Enua Travel exemption.
Bubble 2: Travel from Rarotonga to other Pa Enua (except Aitutaki)
- Provide a negative result from a supervised Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) administered on the day of departure. A Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) testing facility is available at the Airport with tests costing $10 per person.
- Provide evidence of full vaccination or has a Pa Enua Travel exemption.
- Has resided in the Cook Islands for a continuous period of 7 days before the day of departure.
- Sign a declaration confirming that they have been in the Cook Islands for 7 consecutive days.
Any medical exemption documentation must be approved by Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health (TMO) on [email protected]
Are there any further requirements for domestic transit passengers?
If you are transiting from outside of Auckland, check with your airline if there are any further requirements at Auckland International Airport (i.e. Health screening) to avoid disruptions.
Does the Cook Islands have contact tracing?
Yes. All travellers are strongly recommended to use CookSafe and CookSafe+ which are the two official contact tracing tools in the Cook Islands:
- CookSafe is a unique QR Code every traveller will receive to their email once they complete the Cook Islands Ministry of Health Travel Declaration online form within 96 hours of travel to the Cook Islands and use this QR code to tag in on smart devices.
- CookSafe+ is a contact tracing app which uses Smartphone Bluetooth technology to register other CookSafe+ App users and NZ Covid Tracer App users in your vicinity. You simply download the app, turn on your Bluetooth and let the app do the rest.
Is Travel Insurance recommended?
Yes. Travel Insurance is highly recommended for all travellers to ensure financial cover in the event travel plans need to be changed due to COVID-19. Ensure you are clear on your Travel Insurance policy covers and whether there is Cancellation coverage as well as Medical Coverage including pandemics as a stipulation. Be sure to take note of what you have available to you.
If you or a family member tests positive for COVID-19 during your stay, appropriate insurance will be needed to cover costs related to room relocation and booking extensions, rebooking airline tickets and any associated medical costs.
Where can I get more information?
Information on this website is correct at time of publishing. Information is subject to change without notice. Terms and conditions apply.