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TRAVEL & LEISURE

New Zealand's Travel Bubble with the Cook Islands Could Be in Place Before the End of the Year

And you won't need to quarantine on arrival.
By Stephen Heard
August 10, 2020
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New Zealand's Travel Bubble with the Cook Islands Could Be in Place Before the End of the Year

And you won't need to quarantine on arrival.
By Stephen Heard
August 10, 2020
  shares

Christmas in the Cook Islands might soon be a reality, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today confirmed that negotiations are being made in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Pacific nation.

Ardern said in a media briefing that phase one (of three) in the negotiations on the text of an 'Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel between the Cook Islands and New Zealand' are at the point of conclusion. The Arrangement outlines the health and border requirements for each country to meet in order to recommence normal travel without the need to quarantine on arrival.

Ardern said, "We need to stress test the arrangement, ensure testing and surveillance systems are strong, that we have contact tracing systems in place in the event of a case and that both countries can ensure those eligible for travel within the New Zealand/Cook Islands travel bubble meet the requisite health and border criteria as detailed in the Arrangement."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna will sign the Arrangement once the conditions for safe travel to recommence are in place.

The timeframe for the travel bubble has been loosely set for before the end of the year, or as soon as it can be safely achieved. There have been no further announcements about the previously floated trans-Tasman travel bubble, or opening up the rest of the South Pacific.

New Zealand is now over 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19, while the Cook Islands closed its borders in March and has been virus-free to this day. The South Pacific nation is made up of 15 islands. Rarotonga is the largest and home to white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters and pristine coral reefs.

There will be a report back on progress of the travel bubble Arrangement in two weeks. For more information, visit beehive.govt.nz.

Published on August 10, 2020 by Stephen Heard

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