Domestic travel restrictions drafted by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 come into force on Saturday March 21, 2020.
The regulations restrict travel between Rarotonga and the Pa Enua (outer islands), and among the outer islands, for all persons unless that person has been in supervised quarantine for at least 14 days prior to their scheduled departure.
Under special circumstances, Secretary of Health Dr Josephine Herman may grant consent to travel to the outer islands provided that person will not pose any risk in relation to COVID-19.
The Minister of Health is also authorised to prohibit any person from travelling between Rarotonga and the Pa Enua, between the outer islands, and from one area of any island to another if that person hasn’t completed the required 14-day supervised quarantine period.
The regulations also apply to operators and persons in charge of planes and marine vessels such as boats and ships.
All caregivers must ensure children wishing to travel comply with the regulations.
Failure to comply with the regulations is punishable with a fine up to $10,000 and/or a prison term of a maximum of 12 months.
Any business or corporate entity found guilty of committing any related offence is subject to a fine of a maximum of $50,000.
The regulations, first announced by Prime Minister Henry Puna, are the government’s response to the threat of COVID-19. The Ministry of Health has been given power to enforce the regulations.
The regulations will be in effect until 20 June 2020, however government may revoke or extend the regulations pending the status of COVID-19 in the Cook Islands and beyond.
ENDS: Enquiries to Jaewynn McKay +682 55486