NOVEL CORONAVIRUS DISEASE INFORMATION
FOR TRAVELLING TO THE COOK ISLANDS
PRIME MINISTER HENRY PUNA DECLARES THE COOK ISLANDS A COVID-19 FREE ZONE
Prime Minister Henry Puna has declared the Cook Islands "a COVID-19 free zone", however the county remains in Code Yellow for the time being. Even though the virus has not presented itself, all have been asked to continue to maintain good hygiene and practice physical and social distancing to prevent transmission. For more information visit www.covid19.gov.ck
BORDERS OPENING TO COOK ISLANDERS AND PERMIT HOLDERS
From 19 June 2020 the Cook Islands border will be reopen to Cook Islanders and Permit Holders provided that the person travelling has not been outside of New Zealand/Cook Islands in the 30 days prior to travel.
Exemptions to the 30 day period can be sought from the Ministry of Immigration and Foreign Affairs which can be provided at the discretion of the Principal Immigration Officer after consultation with the Secretary of Health.
Visitor permits are not being issued.
All intending travellers should in the first instance (before booking travel), send a request to [email protected] and include the following:
- Copy of the bio-data page of each passport
- Confirm Arrival Date in NZ
- Confirm any travel to Australia or other countries outside of NZ
- Any intention to travel to the outer islands
- Any persons travelling that require an exemption i.e. does not meet the entry criteria as per travel advisory.
Immigration Cook Islands will check information provided with external agencies where required, so please be accurate.
NEW ZEALAND BORDER CONTROLS
On Monday 8 June at 11:59 pm New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1. Movement around the country, and most other restrictions and legal requirements on businesses, services and individuals have been relaxed.
Controls at New Zealand’s borders remain, including health screening and testing for all arrivals, and mandatory 14 day managed quarantine or isolation. For up to date information click here.
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?