The announcement that quarantine free travel is scheduled to start between New Zealand and the Cook Islands on 17 May was a welcome one, particularly for the Cook Islands tourism industry. As a nation that relies so heavily on tourism, our thoughts are with our friends and colleagues in the Cook Islands on what is surely an emotional day.
What Does The Bubble Mean
From 17 May (NZ time) the Cook Islands will allow New Zealanders to travel to the Cook Islands without any quarantine measures. This includes holiday makers and business travellers. Air New Zealand plans to operate a 787 Dreamliner on the route, starting with 2 to 3 times per week and building to daily from 5 July.
Could I Get Stuck in the Cooks?
Like the Australian Travel Bubble, the “flyer beware” caveat has been repeated by the Prime Minister. However, the NZ government has indicated that if a large scale community outbreak was to occur, they are more likely to assist with bringing New Zealanders home in order to reduce the impact on the Cook Islands health system. The message from the New Zealand government in the lead up to the announcement has been that New Zealand poses a greater Covid-19 risk to the Cook Islands than the Cook Islands poses to New Zealand. Extraction measures therefore reflect this reality.
Could I Still Have to Quarantine?
If there has been a community outbreak while you are in the Cook Islands you could be asked to monitor, get tested, self isolate, or even required to quarantine when you return to New Zealand.
How Fine Travel Can Help
The risk of a community outbreak in the Cook Islands is much lower than Australia, and the NZ government has indicated some level of repatriation support. Once we have booked your travel, we remain available to assist with any changes (enforced or voluntary).
When we book your flights, our direct reservations system access means we can make changes to your flights – saving you from the airline’s call centre. Given the risks involved, flexible and refundable airfares should be considered over the cheapest available.
A pausing or suspension of flights could result in an extended stay or prevent you from going on a planned holiday. Having a Plan B in place when you book your travel will avoid scrambling and save time, stress and potentially money.
Can I get Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is available if Covid-19 affects travel plans or if you are diagnosed with Covid-19. If you are planning to travel to the Cook Islands, please contact us about your travel insurance options.
What About Australians?
The Cook Islands government has not approved a triangular arrangement. Travellers from Australia will need to spend at least 14 days in New Zealand before travelling on to the Cook Islands.
Cook Island Holidays
Whether it’s a winter escape, a family holiday, a delayed honeymoon or a significant anniversary, the Cook Islands are ready and waiting and I look forward to helping you with your travel plans.