The Air New Zealand check in counter at the Rarotonga International Airport equipped with Covid-19 safety protocols. AL WILLIAMS/22011212
Cook Islands will change its pre-departure Covid-19 testing requirement to include rapid antigen tests (RAT) as an option instead of PCR tests which cost around $250.
Minister Mark Brown made the announcement yesterday and said the changes could
be implemented by next week.
will need to take a RAT 24 hours before their flight to the Cook Islands and
will need to do it under supervision to be valid.
in response to the changing situation in New Zealand as they adjust to the
increasing Omicron infection rate,” Brown said.
the entry requirements that are in place are now redundant and need changing.
“Although Cabinet has made these decisions today, we still require
drafting of the regulations to amend those changes and Executive Council to put
them into effect. I have asked my team to do this as quickly as possible, by
Brown said Te Marae Ora would provide a list of the places and
pharmacies where the test could be done “quickly and at greatly reduced cost”.
Prime Minister said the Cabinet also decided to remove the requirement for travellers to have been in NZ for 10 days before
being allowed to travel to the Cook Islands.
are in NZ or have just arrived in NZ, then you will be able travel to the Cook
Islands without the need for 10 days to stand down in NZ,” he said.
make it easier for our people from Australia, in particular, to visit home.
“Given New Zealand’s current situation, and the fact that New Zealand
has opened QFT (quarantine free travel) to the rest of the world, means this
requirement is redundant and offers no additional protection to the Cook
The temporary restrictions to unvaccinated
Cook Islanders and permanent residents will also be removed meaning they can
now enter the country.
The managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) and
self-isolation requirements for unvaccinated Cook Islanders and Permanent
Residents are also being removed.
However, Air New Zealand still requires all its passengers to be
vaccinated on international flights.