Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Quarantine-free travel to Cook Islands to stay open

Quarantine-free travel to the Cook Islands will stay despite New Zealand’s Omicron outbreak.

Cook Islands’ Cabinet said in a just released statement that it was briefed about two recently arrived tourists, one of whom had been notified by the NZ Ministry of Health that they had visited a Covid-19 location of interest.

“The couple tested negative on Saturday and are quarantined with Day 5 and Day 9 tests to follow. Only when they have tested negative for both remaining tests will they no longer be quarantined.”

The Cook Islands’ Cabinet have introduced a range of new safety measures to come into force from Wednesday.

They include:

• No unvaccinated people will be allowed entry into the Cook Islands for the next month. Cook Islands Residents or Work Permits Holders who are parents/caregivers of children under 5 years may apply for an exemption for their child/children. The Cook Islands Travel Advisory will be updated.

• Mandatory mask wearing in all public indoor settings e.g., retail, workplaces, Church.

• All schools (primary and secondary) and Early Childhood Centres to close to students for 2 weeks (or an additional 2 weeks if already closed), resuming Monday 7 February. This will allow time for families with 5–11-year-olds the opportunity to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine which is expected in-country soon.

• RAT testing required for all travellers to Aitutaki prior to departure from Rarotonga from tomorrow (Monday 24 January).

• Gatherings, irrespective of vaccination status, limited to a maximum of 100.

Since the travel bubble resumption between New Zealand and the Cook Islands was announced in November, bookings have been building steadily as people appreciated the unique luxury of an overseas holiday on a beautiful tropical island without having to quarantine or self-isolate at either end of their trip.

Quarantine-free flights began earlier this month.

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