The Cook Islands has announced that they will officially remove the quarantine requirements for travel to and from New Zealand starting January next year.
Its official starting date is on January 14, 2022. So far, this is the only country that has removed the travel restrictions for NZ. It has previously required passengers to isolate themselves for a period of time before being allowed in the country. Starting this date, they will only be required to take a Covid-19 test and show a negative result for them to have a hassle-free experience. They must be tested within 72 hours before departing.
This will apply for those who will come to Rarotonga and will travel to Aitutaki. The test required is the Rapid Antigen Test which can show results below an hour after being administered. However, Aitutaki may still require passengers to be tested once more once they arrive.
The only restriction left is for children below the age of 12 who is yet to be approved for vaccination. This is expected to improve later on because of the recent efforts of NZ to vaccinate the younger population after it was deemed safe by health professionals.
To ensure that they will remain free from Covid-19 cases, Cook Island will implement a contract tracing system. After boarding the island, travellers will be required to answer a form which registers them into an application which can help with contract tracing.
As of writing, Cook Islands remain free from any cases of Covid-19 which Graeme West, its Tourism manager, took pride in. He says that it was because of their quick action of shutting down its borders and vaccinating almost all of its eligible population.
Before the start of the outbreak of the Delta strain of Coronavirus in New Zealand, the Cook Islands were open for NZ travellers from May to August. West says that they are delighted with the return of travellers once again who can boost their tourism industry.
Aside from NZ, Cook Islands remains closed from travel from other countries. However, they are open to changing their plans if lower cases of the disease are seen in nearby countries. They will post updates about this on their tourism website.
Cook Islands is known for the abundant activities that travellers can do on the island such as snorkelling, island travel, lagoon cruises, fish diving, and day tours. They mainly rely on the tourism industry, receiving close to 200,000 visitors each year prior to the pandemic.