What you need to know before travelling to the Cook Islands


When can I travel?

17 May 2021. The Cook Islands border is open to visitors from New Zealand on  17 May 2021.

Who can travel to the Cook Islands?

Anyone who has been in New Zealand for 14 consecutive days prior to departure.  If you are not a NZ Citizen or NZ Permanent Resident, you must ensure that if you leave NZ that you are legally able to return to NZ.  Refer to the Cook Islands Government Travel Advisory for more information.

Are visitors from other countries able to enter the Cook Islands?

NO.  The border is only between New Zealand and the Cook Islands.  Any eligible visitors from outside of New Zealand must spend 14 consecutive days in New Zealand prior to departing to the Cook Islands.

Are cruise ships able to enter the Cook Islands?

NO.  The Cook Islands  maritime  border is  closed.


Do I have to do any quarantine or self-isolate in either the Cook Islands on arrival or New Zealand upon my return?

NO. You will not be required to quarantine or self-isolate in the Cook Islands OR New Zealand.

Will I have to go into quarantine in NZ upon my return if NZ has community transmission?

This will be determined by the New Zealand Government’s border setting at that particular time.


How many Covid-19 cases have there been in the Cook Islands?

NONE. We pleased to advise that the Cook Islands has been very fortunate to have remained Covid-19  free to date. 

Where can I find more information about Covid-19?

Visit the Cook Islands Government Travel Advisory for more information.


Will I be required to take a medical test or provide a medical certificate before flying?

NO. However you  may be asked to take a temperature check  and/or answer health related questions when checking in  at the airport. 

Will my temperature be taken before flying to or upon arrival in the Cook Islands?  

MAYBE.  You may be required to have your temperature taken at the airport before boarding your flight in New Zealand and/or upon arrival into Rarotonga. 


When can I start booking my  quarantine free  trip to the Cook Islands?

NOW.  You can start planning and booking your trip now.

Who is flying to the Cook Islands?

AIR NEW ZEALAND. Currently Air New Zealand is the only airline servicing this route. Flights can be booked directly with Air New Zealand, through your local travel agent or online travel agent. 

Can I travel to Aitutaki and Atiu?  

YES.  Aitutaki and Atiu are the two most popular sister islands in the Cook Islands.  They, and our other sister islands, are accepting visitors from New Zealand.  Please visit our national carrier Air Rarotonga  for information on flight schedules to these islands. 

How do I book?

FLIGHTS: Can be booked directly with  Air New Zealand, or through your local travel professional or online travel agent.

ACCOMMODATION: You can book accommodation directly with all accommodation providers in the Cook Islands or by contacting your local travel professional, on our deals page, and online portals for flight and accommodation packages.

Can I use my travel credits with Air New Zealand?

YES. Go to Air New Zealand  and access your credits or contact your travel professional.

Will Air New Zealand be offering their full inflight services?

YES. Air New Zealand will be offering full inflight services, including food, beverages, and entertainment on flights between New Zealand and Rarotonga. You can choose between seat, seat + bag, the works  and  works deluxe. On some flights premium economy and business class are also available.

Can I buy travel insurance that covers Covid-19?

YES.  There are several insurance providers such as  Covermore, Allianz and Southern Cross offering travel insurance policies, but you need to check exactly what they will cover.

What happens to my flight and accommodation booking if travel is suddenly banned between the Cook Islands and New Zealand?

We recommend upon booking your trip to Rarotonga you also purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for Covid-19 related cancellations. However,  be aware that most insurance policies  will  not provide cover if a Government closes their border.  


Will there be any physical distancing measures in place in the Cook Islands?

NO. However  we recommend physical distancing where possible. Refer to the Cook Islands Promise .

Does the Cook Islands have contact tracing? 

YES.  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, and 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. Everyone will be asked to download the  CookSafe+ Bluetooth app . Your participation means you are part of the national effort to keep everyone  Covid-19 free.  We encourage you to also register at SafeTravel to get the latest travel advice for New Zealand. Registering means the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, embassies and consulates can contact you in an emergency situation, provide consular assistance if needed, check on your wellbeing, or send you important information.

Will I be required to wear a face mask  while  in the Cook Islands?

NO. You will not be required to wear a face mask during your time in the Cook Islands. Please be aware though that this may change depending on any new Covid-19 alert levels issued. Also note that on flights, Auckland International Airport and Cook Islands Airport requires all travellers to wear a face mask on all flights, exemptions for children under 12 years.

Are there measures in place to ensure that my accommodation is sanitized?

YES. Please refer to your accommodation provider for details of their cleaning processes.

Will activity  operators, restaurants, cafes , and bars be open as normal? 

YES. All operators will be open as normal and ready to welcome visitors back.  We recommend pre-booking your tour or activity a few days in advance or prior to travel if possible.  It is always a good idea to make restaurant bookings in advance to avoid disappointment. 

Will servers at restaurants, cafes, and bars  be required to wear  Personal Protective Equipment?

NO. All staff will be practicing good hygiene.

Will  snorkelling gear be offered by sightseeing operators and resorts? 

MAYBE. However, we recommend buying your snorkelling gear locally or  bring your own. Please also check with your accommodation  or activity provider as some may no longer provide these  for guest use.


The Cook Islands has adopted a similar alert level system to New Zealand, utilising the four-level alert system.

Are Covid-19 tests readily available in the Cook Islands?  

YES.  Call Te Marae Ora – Ministry of Health Healthline on +0800 1800 to seek more information. 

If I develop Covid-19 symptoms while in the Cook Islands, what should I do?

ADVISE AIRPORT PERSONNEL OR YOUR ACCOMMODATION PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY.  Wear a  mask and isolate yourself from other people.  Call the Te Marae Ora – Ministry of Health  Cook Islands Healthline on +0800 1800 for further advice about what to do.

If I  test  positive for Covid-19 while  in the Cook Islands, will I need to  go into  quarantine  in the Cook Islands?

YES.  In the unlikely event that you test positive in the Cook Islands,  the Cook Islands Ministry of Health will support and advise you what to do.  A  quarantine order may be issued by the Cook Islands Government under the COVID-19 Act.

If I need to go into quarantine whilst in the Cook Islands what happens to my accommodation that I  have already paid for?

That will be dependent on your accommodation provider,  their policies,  and what insurance policy you have. You should check these  at time of  booking.

Will I have  access  to medical facilities in case of an emergency?

YES.  Rarotonga has its own hospital  including isolation facilities.

Will my medical treatment be free of charge in the case of an emergency?

NO.  There are costs involved for all medical treatment in the Cook Islands . Please visit  www.health.gov.ck for more information.  We recommend you take out comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking and ideally a policy that will cover for you for anything related to Covid-19.

If New Zealand closes its border while I am in the Cook Islands, can I still return home on my original booked flight? 

This will depend on decisions made by the New Zealand and Cook Islands Governments at the time.

Will I have to go into self-isolation  or quarantine in the  Cook  Islands  if there  are any cases detected there? 

This will be determined by the Cook Islands Government’s Covid-19 alert level issued at the time of any cases detected. Refer to the  Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health Easing of Border Restrictions Plan  .


Cook Islands Travel Advisory



Cook Islands Promise

Te Marae Ora Cook Islands Ministry of Health COVID Information