Freedomroo – New Zealand prepares to open a travel bubble with the Cook Islands

It's not yet clear whether the arrangements would also allow Australians or travellers from Australia to visit the Cook Islands

New Zealand prepares to open a travel bubble with the idyllic Cook Islands – so could Australia be next?

  • New Zealand will allow quarantine-free travel to the Cook Islands this month
  • The two nations have been in negotiations for a travel bubble arrangement 
  • Jacinda Ardern and the Cook Islands PM are working towards a May opening
  • It’s not yet clear whether Australians will also be allowed to visit the Cook Islands
  • The Cook Islands haven’t recorded a single Covid case through the pandemic

New Zealand is poised to open its borders further, allowing quarantine-free travel to the Cook Islands this month.

The New Zealand-aligned Pacific nation – 3233km north east of New Zealand – has been in negotiations for a travel bubble arrangement with Jacinda Ardern’s government for months.

Rumours over opening dates have been swirling since Ms Ardern and Cook Islands PM Mark Brown confirmed they were working towards a May opening.

It’s not yet clear whether the arrangements would also allow Australians or travellers from Australia to visit the Cook Islands

It's not yet clear whether the arrangements would also allow Australians or travellers from Australia to visit the Cook Islands

It’s not yet clear whether the arrangements would also allow Australians or travellers from Australia to visit the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands have not recorded a single case of COVID-19 through the pandemic

The Cook Islands have not recorded a single case of COVID-19 through the pandemic

Ms Ardern said she would give a date for the much-awaited opening later on Monday, following a cabinet meeting in Wellington.

‘We will be having that discussion around our readiness on both sides and be looking to provide a date later this afternoon,’ she said.

It’s not yet clear whether the arrangements would also allow Australians or travellers from Australia to visit the Cook Islands, which has not recorded a single case of COVID-19 through the pandemic.

The tourism-dependent nation has been eager to re-open to New Zealand, which Ms Ardern acknowledged

The tourism-dependent nation has been eager to re-open to New Zealand, which Ms Ardern acknowledged

Given its COVID-free status, Cook Islanders have been allowed to enter Aotearoa without a fortnight-long stay in quarantine since January

Given its COVID-free status, Cook Islanders have been allowed to enter Aotearoa without a fortnight-long stay in quarantine since January

The tourism-dependent nation has been eager to re-open to New Zealand, which Ms Ardern acknowledged.

‘Such a big part of their economy has been tourism and New Zealanders make up a large part of that,’ she said.

‘We wanted to make sure when we did it, we got it right.

‘We don’t want to run the risk of exporting COVID to the Cook Islands which has been COVID-free.

‘The delay has not been anything to do with the Cooks but more making sure we are prepared in the event in which we have a case that crosses the border into the Cook Islands.’

Given its COVID-free status, Cook Islanders have been allowed to enter Aotearoa without a fortnight-long stay in quarantine since January.

The New Zealand-aligned Pacific nation has been in negotiations for a travel bubble arrangement with Jacinda Ardern's government for months

The New Zealand-aligned Pacific nation has been in negotiations for a travel bubble arrangement with Jacinda Ardern’s government for months

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