The local resort hosting returning Cook Islands residents has reassured the public their hotel is safe for others during the quarantine period.
Edgewater Resort and Spa will be the quarantine facility for residents who were stranded in New Zealand.
The first 130 will return to Rarotonga on Friday and will be required to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine at the Arorangi property.
There have been concerns voiced by the public for their safety after Edgewater announced plans to accommodate people for a special Mother’s Day dinner this weekend.
Andrew Whittaker, the chief executive officer of Edgewater Resort and Spa, said they were working with authorities to ensure that the repatriation and the supervised quarantine period were managed under strict supervision.
“We have a designated area on the resort where the Cook Islanders will be accommodated and made as comfortable as possible, which minimises any risk to employees, diners and contractors,” Whittaker said.
“We are working closely with Te Marae Ora to ensure the Cook Islanders repatriation goes as smoothly as possible.”
Te Marae Ora health ministry in a statement said repatriated Cook Islanders under the Covid-19 programme would have restricted movements around the resort.
All meals and services will be provided with “absolutely no contact between service providers and returning people”, it said.
“Due consideration has been made to ensure our repatriated families are housed in a wing of the resort that is remote from public areas.
“Edgewater Resort management have removed any possibility of a potential ‘mixing n mingling’ between returning Cook Islanders, those coming in to celebrate Mother’s day and any Pa Enua visitors.”
Prime Minister Henry Puna last week told the Parliament that Vaka Puaikura had volunteered to assist with the security of the premises “so that the quarantine can be properly and completely safe”.
Cook Islands Police will be overseeing all security measures.
The resort will also host the postponed Cook Islands Sports Awards on Sunday May 24.