Travel bubble to begin May 16 pending final health checks

Sunday 2 May 2021 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Local, National

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Travel bubble to begin May 16 pending final health checks
Aitutaki's One Foot Island. PHOTO: COOK ISLANDS TOURISM. 20122909

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have announced two-way quarantine-free travel will commence between the two countries on May 16.

In making the announcement, both leaders said the opening of the bubble is pending final confirmation from Secretary Bob Williams from Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health and New Zealand’s Director-General of Health.

“Today we start our journey of recovery. Today we get back to business,” said Prime Minister Mark Brown.

“Today with our joint confirmation of the (16 May), we give our people, and particularly our industry the certainty necessary to institute remaining preparatory steps to once more welcome visitors to our shores.”

“It will mean families can reconnect, commercial arrangements can resume and Kiwis can take a much-welcomed winter break and support the Cook Islands’ tourism sector and recovery,” added NZ PM Ardern.

As part of the bubble arrangement, travellers will have to have been in either the Cook Islands or New Zealand for at least 14 days before travel.

There will be no requirement for a pre-departure Covid-19 test, but travellers will have to submit a travel declaration and there will be random health checks at airports.

Brown said government is continuing its work on a vaccine rollout and further details would be provided in the “next few weeks”.