Two-Way Travel Bubble Between Cook Islands, New Zealand Commences Today

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Two-Way Travel Bubble Between Cook Islands, New Zealand Commences Today

 Two-Way Travel Bubble Between Cook Islands, New Zealand Commences Today
Image source: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

Summary

  • Quarantine-free two-way travel arrangement kick-starts from today as Air NZ's flight took off from New Zealand to the Cook Islands.
  • The traveller should be in New Zealand for last 14 days before travelling to the Cook Islands.
  • A pre-departure test is not required but all the travel-related declarations should be filled.

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc around the world, NZ’s tourism industry suffered a major blow due to the shutting down of the country’s borders and limited travellers willing to explore its beauty.

Nonetheless, the opening of borders between New Zealand and Australia in April 2021 saw Aotearoa’s tourism industry again brimming with joy and optimism.

Read: How COVID-19 pandemic plagued NZ tourism; The sector’s response, and prospects

Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media

2-Way Travel Bubble Between NZ And The Cook Islands Begins

The country has achieved another milestone, as the first flight to the Cook Islands took off on 18 May between Auckland to Rarotonga, marking the start of the 2-way travel bubble with the tiny Pacific nation. The move came 4 months after the 1-way travel arrangement, which allowed  Cook Islanders to travel quarantine-free to the Kiwi nation.

At present, Air New Zealand is offering 2 flights per week, i.e. on Tuesdays and Saturdays, which would later shift to daily flights in July.

The restart of the travel arrangement between both the countries would not only witness happy reunions of family and loved ones but would also give a much-needed boost to the tourism industry of both the nations.

Travel Details Amid The Cook Islands and New Zealand

Before booking the tickets to the Cook Islands, make sure that the individual has been in New Zealand for the last 14 days.

Also, the person should not have tested positive for Coronavirus during the 14-day period. In case, the person was COVID-19 positive, he/she should be able to produce a note from the doctor that the person is infection-free at the time of travel.

Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media

Since it is quarantine-free travel, a pre-departure test is not needed. However, the visitors are expected to fill all the declaration forms before leaving New Zealand for the Cook Islands. Further, an impromptu health inspection at the airport can also take place.

The visitor to the Cook Islands can visit the place for a month and must carry a return ticket.

Pre-COVID-19 Tourist Levels Still A Distant Dream

A closer look at the statistics reveals nearly 372,745 international travellers thronged the Kiwi land in February 2020, down 10.8% on February 2019, which recorded 417,934 visitors.

Must Read: Is NZ Tourism Industry Ready For The Influx Of Tourists Post The Commencement Of TransTasman Bubble?

The number further reduced to just 175,521 trans-national tourists in March 2020 and later to virtually zero due to travel bans and restrictions across the nation.

Earlier this month, Stuart Nash, NZ’s Tourism Minister, charted out plans to reorganise the nation’s tourism sector. He laid emphasis on lesser global travellers and expanding the economies of regions that rely on tourism sector.

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