TRAVEL ADVISORY UPDATE

 

 

Updated Information as at Tuesday 18 January 2022 (CKT-10 UTC)

 

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS DISEASE INFORMATION
FOR TRAVELLING TO THE COOK ISLANDS
 

 

COOK ISLANDS BORDERS TO REOPEN

The Cook Islands Government has made the important decision to re-open the borders from the 13 January 2022 (Cook Islands time). This decision was based on a range of high-level advice from the Government’s Border Easement Taskforce and data modelling experts in New Zealand. This reopening of borders allows for two-way quarantine-free travel from New Zealand.

Read the full Prime Ministers Media Statement here

For more information on what you need to know prior to travel, visit Travel Information and FAQ’s for New Zealand – Cook Islands.

TRAVEL ADVISORY

The Cook Islands current Section 9A Notice for Refusal of Entry under the Entry, Residence and Departure Act 1971-72, signed into effect from 12 May 2020 and still active, is as follows;

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 (MFAI).

Effective from 11.59pm Wednesday 12 January 2022 (CKT), the following groups of persons are exempted for entry into the Cook Islands, provided they meet the entry criteria specified in the COVID-19 (Air Border Requirements) Regulations 2021, summarised below:

  1. Group 1 - Any person who is visiting the Cook Islands under a visitor's permit (tourist) must:
    1. 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; and
    2. be vaccinated and provide evidence of vaccination; and
    3. have completed the online COVID-19 Cook Islands Ministry of Health travel declaration information form no earlier than 96 hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight to the Cook Islands; and
    4. provide a negative result from an RT-PCR test administered no earlier than 48 hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight to the Cook Islands.
  2. Group 2 - Any person who holds a valid Cook Islands issued Immigration permit, other than a visitor permit, must:
    1. provide evidence of Immigration permit
    2. have been in New Zealand or the Cook Islands for a continuous period of at least 10 full days before the scheduled departure date of their journey to the Cook Islands
    3. be vaccinated and provide evidence of vaccination
    4. have completed the online COVID-19 Cook Islands Ministry of Health travel declaration information form no earlier than 96 hours before the scheduled departure time of their journey to the Cook Islands; and
    5. provide a negative result from an RT-PCR test administered no earlier than 48 hours before the scheduled departure time of their journey to the Cook Islands.
  3. Exemptions from Vaccination requirements - a person from group 2 is exempted from the vaccination requirements if they have a medical exemption from vaccination which meets the requirements of the regulations. or if they are under the age of 12 years and 3 months. Home quarantine and mandatory testing requirements will apply to these persons on arrival into the Cook Islands.

  4. Group 3 - A person who is a Cook Islander or Permanent resident and child of Permanent Resident must:
    1. If a Cook Islander- provide evidence of their Cook Islands status; if Permanent resident -must provide evidence of their Permanent Resident status. To request endorsement of your Immigration Status click here
    2. have been in New Zealand or the Cook Islands for a continuous period of at least 10 full days before the scheduled departure date of their journey to the Cook Islands;
    3. notify the Ministry of their vaccination status and, if they state that they are vaccinated, provide evidence of vaccination
    4. have completed the online COVID-19 Cook Islands Ministry of Health travel declaration information form no earlier than 96 hours before the scheduled departure time of their journey to the Cook Islands
    5. Provide a negative result from an RT-PCR test administered no earlier than 48 hours before the scheduled departure time of their journey to the Cook Islands.
  5. Persons from Group 3 are permitted entry into the Cook Islands regardless of their vaccination status. However, for those aged over 12 years 3 months who are unvaccinated and do not have a valid medical exemption, conditions of entry include a mandatory period in supervised quarantine (at the traveller's expense) as well as mandatory PCR tests on arrival into the Cook Islands and during the quarantine period Persons in Group 3 who are unvaccinated because they have a medical exemption or because they are under the age of 12 years and 3 months will be subject to at-home quarantine and mandatory testing requirements.

B) Applies to all travellers - Delayed or Rebooked flights
If the person's flight is delayed or rebooked by more than 12 hours but less than 24 hours from the original scheduled departure time, the person must also provide a negative result from a supervised rapid antigen test 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, they must comply with the usual testing entry requirements.

C) All those requiring MIQ
For travellers in Groups 2 and 3 who are not vaccinated and are required to enter MIQ as per the entry requirements, must provide evidence of their MIQ placement and confirmation from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management to MFAI 48 hours prior to their scheduled departure. Travellers will be refused entry without this confirmation.

D) All travellers must meet Cook Islands Immigration Entry requirements
All queries regarding this travel advisory can be directed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (Te Kauono Tutara e te Mana Tiaki on email: [email protected]

Access to the Cook Islands is via New Zealand. All travellers outside of New Zealand will need to meet New Zealand entry travel requirements.

For Travel Advisory 06 January 2022 click here

TRAVEL TO PA ENUA (OUTER ISLANDS)

In order to protect our Pa Enua (Outer Islands), 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

    1. 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 Airport. If you are transiting directly from New Zealand to Aitutaki, a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) test is not required.
    2. Provide evidence of full vaccination or has a Pa Enua Travel exemption.

    Bubble 2: Travel from Rarotonga to other Pa Enua (except Aitutaki)

    1. 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.
    2. Provide evidence of full vaccination or has a Pa Enua Travel exemption.
    3. Has resided in the Cook Islands for a continuous period of 7 days before the day of departure.

    To apply for a Pa Enua Travel exemption email [email protected]

    CONTACT TRACING IN THE COOK ISLANDS: COOKSAFE AND COOKSAFE+

    All travellers will be required to use CookSafe and CookSafe+ which are the two official contact tracing systems in the Cook Islands.

    CookSafe and CookSafe+ are the two official contact tracing systems in the Cook Islands. CookSafe is a unique QR Card that is used to tag in at CookSafe stations. The QR card will be issued to you in flight before you land in the Cook Islands. 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.

    THE COOK ISLANDS PROMISE: SAFEGUARDING OUR ISLAND COMMUNITIES AND OUR VISITORS

    As the Cook Islands prepares to opens its borders and tourism businesses, vigilance is paramount as Government, the tourism industry and the wider community welcome visitors back 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.