Prime Minister Mark Brown expects incoming passengers to Cook Islands will no longer need to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine from October 23 onwards.
However, Brown says this date is dependent on the continued absence of community transmission of Covid-19 in New Zealand.
Should another case of community transmission occur at any point, supervised quarantine in the Cook Islands will be immediately reinstated, he adds.
The Auckland August Cluster resulted in the Cook Islands Government putting in place the requirement for all international arrivals to undergo 14-days supervised quarantine in pre-approved residences on arrival in Rarotonga.
The sixth cohort arrived on Rarotonga yesterday.
However, it is expected that passengers on next week’s October 16 inbound flight will be the last group to undertake the currently required 14 days of supervised quarantine.
When supervised quarantine in Rarotonga is lifted, for those arriving from October 23 onwards, negative Covid-19 test results within 96 hours of the flight departing from Auckland will still be required, as well as health clearance from Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health.
They must also complete the health clearance exit process at Auckland International Airport.
For now, right of entry into Cook Islands only applies to returning Cook Islanders, residents, or work permit holders.
PM Brown said: “We are working with New Zealand officials to finalise fully quarantine-free travel arrangements between the Cook Islands and New Zealand.”
“We are working at pace and hope to have everything in place as early as November.”
Brown is also pleased with progress in New Zealand regarding no new community Covid-19 cases for over a week and the New Zealand government’s recent decision to move Auckland to alert level one along with the rest of the country.
Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health and other border agencies continue to monitor the situation in New Zealand and are working towards possibly lifting the requirement for international arrivals to undergo supervised quarantine on Rarotonga.