A registered nurse, prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a community center in the Bronx on Feb. 4, 2021. (James Estrin/The New York Times)
My response to the Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive comments re “there is no scientific reason to delay” (the opening of the border for two-way quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Cook Islands) in Thursday’s edition of Cook Islands News (What’s the hold-up Jacinda?), is that, I would rather be safe, than sorry.
In countries like Australia, we have seen states like Western Australia and Queensland close their borders to residents from other states.
It appears that the officials in those two
states seem more worried about community transmission than we do – even though
they have the virus and we don’t!
Yes, we are endeavouring to open up to a
country which is considered low-risk in terms of transmitting the virus.
However, I’m not confident that we will be
able to contain an outbreak – should one occur – on Rarotonga.
I sympathise with what the tourism industry
has been going through for the past year. But many Cook Islanders I have spoken
to in recent months say that we should keep the borders closed until mass
vaccination is available in both New Zealand and Cook Islands.