NOVEL CORONAVIRUS DISEASE INFORMATION
FOR TRAVELLING TO THE COOK ISLANDS
IMPORTANT NOTICE: CABINET APPROVES NEW EXEMPTIONS FOR ENTRY TO THE COOK ISLANDS 30 AUGUST 2020
All persons are denied entry into the Cook Islands unless there is an exemption provided (in writing) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.
Effective from 11:59pm Sunday 30th August 2020 (CKT), the following people are exempted for entry into the Cook Islands, provided they meet the entry criteria specified below;
- Cook Islanders (as verified via Cook Islands Status stamp)
- Permanent Residents of the Cook Islands
- Cook Islands work permit holders
- Cook Islands resident permit holders
All requests for entry into the Cook Islands under this provision must be sought from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki) on email: [email protected]
For those approved to travel, you must do three things:
- Undergo a COVID-19 test within 96 hours of your flight departing Auckland, which must be negative
- Advise and seek approval from Te Marae Ora regarding your place of residence to undertake supervised quarantine in Rarotonga, for 14 days
- Complete the exit health clearance process at Auckland International Airport
Please see your usual GP for a health check if you feel unwell, and ensure you have adequate medicine supplies. If you do not have an Auckland based GP, please contact Te Marae Ora on email: [email protected]
The Cook Islands Promise: Safeguarding our island communities and our visitors
As the Cook Islands readies itself to open borders and tourism businesses, vigilance is paramount as Government, the tourism industry and the wider community prepare to welcome back visitors to our little paradise. The Cook Islands have developed ‘The Cook Islands Promise’ which is a joint commitment to protect all Cook Islands residents, and international visitors, from the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus widely known as COVID-19. Developed by Cook Islands Tourism in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister and Te Marae Ora, the Cook Islands Promise includes some basic measures when applied will help to safeguard all once the borders are reopened, says, Dr Aumea Herman Secretary of Health. Read more
TRANSIT EXEMPTIONS FOR PASSENGERS DEPARTING THE COOK ISLANDS
There have been some changes to the New Zealand transit requirements for passengers returning to their country of citizenship.
1. Until 4 September 2020 (NZT), if you are a citizen of Fiji and your immediate destination after transiting through New Zealand is Fiji, you do NOT require a transit visa or New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA)
2. Until 19 September 2020 (NZT), if you are in the Cook Islands and need to transit New Zealand to return home and you would normally need a transit visa, you can transit New Zealand without applying for a transit visa if you meet certain conditions. For more details, please visit www.immigration.govt.nz.
If you are departing the Cook Islands, but not travelling to your county of citizenship, and you are not from a visa waiver country you will still require a transit visa. See list of visa waiver countries here.
If you are from a visa waiver country, you will still be required to apply for a NZeTA online.
WHAT IF I HAVE BOOKED MY TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION TO THE COOK ISLANDS?
If you have already booked your travel to the Cook Islands, it is recommended that you contact your travel agent/ airline and/or insurance company to advise them of the unforeseen changes to your travel. We recommend contacting your accommodation/tour operators to advise of any changes to your confirmed travel. Refunds/ reimbursements are at the discretion of the operators.
WHAT IF I HAVE BOOKED TO TRAVEL TO THE PA ENUA (OUTER ISLANDS) OF THE COOK ISLANDS?
Our national airline carrier, Air Rarotonga, suspended all scheduled inter-island air services on the 21st March, 2020. We are pleased to advise that inter-island travel between our outer Islands recommenced on Monday April 20, 2020. For further updates please click here.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
Symptoms include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, diarrhoea and difficulty breathing.
Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show after a person has been infected.
WHAT DO I DO IF I AM SICK RIGHT NOW?
Do not travel without first seeking medical attention and testing for COVID-19. Your assistance in minimising risk to other passengers and country of arrival is required to enable us to effectively manage the spread of COVID-19. If you have fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath, let a Health or Biosecurity Officer know immediately.
Other travellers with signs and symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or difficulty breathing) may require additional health assessment.
WHAT DO I DO IF I GET SICK IN RAROTONGA/COOK ISLANDS?
- Isolate yourself from other people and put on a mask if you have one; and
- Call Healthline on +0800 1800 or +0800 1801 or +0800 1802 for advice about what to do
WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF AND OTHERS?
- Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
- Wash your hands regularly with water and soap or hand sanitiser;
- Use good cough etiquette – cover your coughs and sneezes with tissue and discard immediately in the rubbish bin or cough and sneeze in your flexed elbow; and
- Avoid close contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging)
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19?