- Publish Date
- Monday, 3 May 2021, 5:40PM
New Zealand's quarantine-free travel bubble with the Cook Islands will begin on May 17.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the start date at a post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon.
This will be based on a clear set of criteria being met, she said. The health and safety of the people of the Cook Islands had been paramount in all the work to ready the bubble.
"Two-way quarantine-free travel is a significant step in both countries' Covid-19 recovery, and a direct result of both New Zealand and the Cook Islands' successful response to the pandemic," Ardern said.
"It will mean families can reconnect, commercial arrangements can resume and Kiwis can take a much-welcomed winter break and support the Cook Islands' tourism sector and recovery."
"That we can take this step in our recovery so soon after opening the transtasman bubble highlights the benefits of our Covid-19 management, and the opportunities it is now providing New Zealand and our neighbours."
Ardern said if there was an outbreak in the Cook Islands, the Government would be more likely to charter a flight to bring Kiwis home. There is currently no vaccination under way in the Cook Islands, but the population of Rarotonga could be vaccinated in a day - going by the current daily vaccination rate in New Zealand."
Article republished with permission from the NZ Herald - more info here.