Next steps towards Quarantine-Free Travel between the Cook Islands and New Zealand

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands. Mark Brown have agreed an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel between the Cook Islands and New Zealand’.

Both Prime Ministers and their Cabinets have instructed officials to continue working together to put in place all measures required to safely recommence two-way quarantine-free travel in the first quarter of 2021.

“The Arrangement recognises the special ties between New Zealand and the Cook Islands. It will allow people to travel more easily between our two countries, while acknowledging that the priority remains to protect our populations from COVID-19,” Prime Minister Ardern said.

Prime Minister Brown welcomed progress, noting that the free movement of people between New Zealand and the Cook Islands is central to our close relationship and integral to the Cook Islands’ recovery from COVID-19 impact.

“This Arrangement is the next step towards resuming many aspects of life in the Cook Islands that have been disrupted by COVID-19, including access to health and education, and reuniting family and friends,” Prime Minister Brown said.

Acknowledging the Cook Islands’ COVID-free status, New Zealand will work at pace to implement quarantine-free access for travellers from the Cook Islands to New Zealand as a first step in a phased approach to resumption of two-way quarantine free travel between the two nations. “Quarantine-free access for travellers from the Cook Islands to New Zealand will provide for the movement of people for delivering and accessing essential services, while allowing officials to finalise preparations for a safe return to two-way quarantine-free travel” Prime Minister Ardern said.