NOVEL CORONAVIRUS DISEASE INFORMATION
FOR TRAVELLING TO THE COOK ISLANDS
COOK ISLANDS GOVERNMENT CLARIFY FURTHER INTERNATIONAL AIR AND SEA TRAVEL AND BORDER MEASURES AS PART OF COVID-19 NATIONAL RESPONSE
Notice to refuse entry into the Cook Islands
1. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration hereby issues a Notice relating to Entry into the Cook Islands as per section 9A of the Entry, Residence and Departures Act 1971-72 as follows:
Only the following people are allowed entry into the Cook Islands:
- New Zealand passport holders
- New Zealand Permanent Resident holder
- Australia Citizens and Permanent Residents who normally live in New Zealand
- Cook Islanders
- Permanent Residents of the Cook Islands
- Cook Islands Work permit holders
- Cook Island Residents permit holders
Entry will also be permitted for any immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children) if they are travelling with one of the above persons.
Provided that no person falling in the above category will be permitted entry if they have been outside New Zealand or the Cook Islands in the 14 days prior to travel.
As part of the national Emergency Response Plan, the Ministry of Health (Te Marae Ora) is implementing further measures aimed at prospective and recent visitors. Effective immediately, all new arrivals are required to undergo supervised quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Visitors may return before the 14-day period with written consent from the Ministry of Health.
UPDATE: NZ TEMPORARY BORDER RESTRICTIONS | UPDATED SUNDAY 29 MARCH, 2020
Cook Islands residents stranded in New Zealand, will now have to remain in New Zealand for the duration of its four-week lockdown and movement restrictions to help break the chain of the COVID-19 spread. A further 14 days supervised quarantine will apply once you reach Rarotonga. This applies to everyone wanting to come in, including Cook Islanders and Cooks Islands residents.
UPDATE: NZ TEMPORARY BORDER RESTRICTIONS UPDATE - MARCH 26, 2020 (CKT)
As part of New Zealand’s temporary border restrictions in response to COVID-19, foreign nationals are no longer able to transit New Zealand in order to travel on to other countries (except Australian citizens, permanent residents or immediate family members travelling to Australia only).
We have no information on when transit will be reopened.
The New Zealand border remains open for all New Zealand citizens, permanent residence class visa holders and their partner, legal guardian or dependent children travelling with a New Zealand citizen or residence class visa holder as well as Australian citizens and permanent residence class visa holders normally resident in NZ.
Exemptions are being considered case-by-case on humanitarian and essential health worker grounds and are granted at the full discretion of New Zealand border officials. There is a very high threshold for an exemption to be granted. We suggest you visit Immigration New Zealand border closures page for more information.
We realise this is a distressing time for travellers and those trying to get home to families and loved ones. You will need to make a plan for your stay in the Cook Islands in the near term. You may need to stay here for several weeks.
We strongly recommend you contact your Embassy or Consulate to ensure that you are registered with them so that they are aware of your situation and can provide you with the most up-to-date information and support.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION?
Quarantine is for people who are not showing any symptoms but require separation from others in case they may have the virus.
Isolation is for people who are showing symptoms and require separation from others to limit the spread of the virus. This can be in a hospital setting or in their home or community facility.
WHEN CAN I TRAVEL TO THE COOK ISLANDS IF I HAVE VISITED OR TRANSITED THROUGH ANOTHER COUNTRY?
It is advised that in order to meet the full 14 required days in New Zealand and that you travel on the 15th day.
WHAT IF I HAVE BOOKED TO TRAVEL TO THE PA ENUA (OUTER ISLANDS) OF THE COOK ISLANDS?
Our national airline carrier, Air Rarotonga, will suspend all scheduled inter-island air services as from midnight 21st March, 2020. The suspension is in place until 30th April 2020, and is subject to constant review. From the 21st of March, no person may travel to the Pa Enua, including Aitutaki, unless they have completed a 14 day period of quarantine. Consultations are underway with accommodation operators for the transfer of guests who are already in Aitutaki on the 21st of March requiring return travel to Rarotonga after that date.
For official Air Rarotonga press release, please click here
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 IS CORONAVIRUS DISEASE?
Coronavirus can make humans and animals sick. Some can cause illnesses similar to the common cold and others cause more serious illnesses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
WHAT IS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS DISEASE? (COVID-19)
There is a new coronavirus disease primarily affecting people in China and which is spreading to other parts of the world. The virus is highly infectious and can spread from person-to-person.
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 +682 29667 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?
Visit the Ministry of Health website at www.covid19.gov.ck