How we would manage travel to the Cook Islands if there is a COVID-19 case

This is a guide to what might occur and what you could be asked to do if there are COVID-19 cases that affect quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands has never had a COVID-19 case and New Zealand has a great record of eliminating the virus. It is everyone’s responsibility to keep it that way. When travelling to the Cook Islands or New Zealand you’ll need to keep track of the COVID-19 situation and play your part in stopping any spread.

We cannot predict when or how a new case might appear, but we do have a plan for how we’d handle a wide range of possible situations. While any response will depend on the circumstances and location, it’s useful to have a guide to what might occur and what you could be asked to do in the event there are COVID-19 cases when you are travelling on Cook Islands green flights.

Continue quarantine-free travel

For example, quarantine-free travel is operating as intended and there is low risk of transmission.

What will happen?

Flights to and from the Cook Islands likely to continue.

What do travellers do?

Follow official instructions from the country you are in.

Keep a record of your movements — use the local COVID-19 tracer app or keep a paper record.

If unwell, do not travel — stay home or in your accommodation.

Get a COVID-19 test if you have any symptoms.

Pause quarantine-free travel

For example, case of unknown source, but most likely linked to border. Affected area enters short-term lockdown.

What will happen?

Flights to and from the Cook Islands will be paused. We may move quickly from pause to suspension in the Cook Islands.

What do travellers do?

Follow official instructions from the country you are in.

If unwell or have symptoms get a COVID-19 test.

Watch for updates from your airline and check your travel insurance.

When returning to the Cook Islands or NZ, travellers may be asked to:

  • get a pre-departure test before flying
  • self-isolate and get a COVID-19 test
  • go into managed isolation on arrival.

Suspend quarantine-free travel

For example, confirmed case of unknown source. Country enters longer-term lockdown.

What will happen?

Flights to and from the Cook Islands will be suspended for an extended period.

What do travellers do?

Stay where you are, do not travel.

Follow official instructions from the country you are in.

If unwell or have symptoms get a COVID-19 test.

Watch for updates from your airline and check your travel insurance.

Your return to NZ or the Cook Islands will be managed to minimise the risk of spread during travel.

Travellers may be asked to:

  • get a pre-departure test before flying
  • self-isolate and get a COVID-19 test
  • go into managed isolation on arrival.

For all situations: Be prepared

Be prepared:

  • Download the CookSafe+ app or NZ COVID Tracer app before departure. There may be connectivity issues in the Cook Islands.
  • Take extra medication, cash and other personal items in case you need to stay longer. Be aware additional costs and getting home are your responsibility.
  • Check your travel insurance and ticket conditions.
  • You are required to complete a travel declaration before departure.
  • You will be required to provide a health declaration and there will be random health checks at airports.

What you should do

Check out eligibility, what to expect and keep an eye on updates on Covid19.govt.nz (this website) and Covid19.gov.ck (external link)

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