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Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health.

"Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID free status, and the implementation of strict health and border protocols we are now in the position to resume quarantine-free travel for passengers from the Cook Islands into New Zealand," Jacinda Ardern says.

"Cook Islanders look forward to quarantine-free entry to New Zealand to enable access to essential services, in the lead up to resuming free movement of people in both directions," says Prime Minister Mark Brown.

"I welcome the support of and joint effort with the New Zealand Government to institute this safe travel corridor which will enable essential health, education, economic and social connections for the first time in many months for our people."

"Both countries continue to take a very careful approach to managing our borders and preventing the spread of COVID remains our paramount concern," says Ardern.

"As such strict protocols will be in place including pre-departure health requirements and separation from other travellers at Auckland International Airport. New Zealand and the Cook Islands are united in our commitment to protect our communities from COVID-19."

This announcement does not change the criteria for entry into the Cook Islands which is limited to Cook Islanders and current holders of Cook Islands work and residence permits who meet Cook Islands health entry requirements.

"These arrangements do not apply to New Zealanders wishing to travel to the Cook Islands. We said we would take a phased approach to resuming two-way travel and will do so only once all safety protocols can be met," Ardern says.

Officials of both governments are committed to working towards ensuring all safety protocols and response capabilities are in place for the resumption of two-way quarantine free travel between the two countries within the first quarter of 2021.

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