Questions and answers for travellers to Rarotonga – 17 September 2020

Questions and Answers for travellers to Rarotonga as at 17 September 2020

What are the key public health measures I should always practise?

  • Wash your hands regularly (at least 20 seconds) with soap or hand sanitiser
  • Maintain physical distancing of 2 metres from other people as much as possible, other than those in your home (the small group of people you are in supervised quarantine with)
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your arm/elbow
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid hugs, kisses or shaking hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces regularly

BEFORE TRAVEL TO RAROTONGA

I am planning to travel to the Cook Islands, what do I need to do?

  • Register your intention to travel to the Cook Islands with Cook Islands Immigration on email: immigration2@cookislands.gov.ck. Registrations close at 11.59pm Wednesday (New Zealand time) in the week prior to your flight departing Auckland.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 within 96 hours of your flight departing The test must be negative.
  • Confirm your place of residence where you will be undertaking supervised quarantine in Rarotonga, for 14 days. Contact Te Marae Ora on email: tmo.exemptions@cookislands.gov.ck.
  • Visit your GP for a health check if you feel unwell, and ensure you have adequate medicine

How do I arrange a COVID-19 test?

  • COVID-19 tests are available free at community-based testing centres in Auckland.
  • Please contact your usual GP in New Zealand for further information regarding testing centre If you do not have an Auckland based GP, please contact Te Marae Ora on email: tmo.exemptions@cookislands.gov.ck
  • When you present for your test, ensure you have a mobile number and email address so that the test results can be sent to your phone and / or Forward the results to Te Marae Ora on email: tmo.exemptions@cookislands.gov.ck.
  • If you require further assistance contact your GP. It will be the responsibility of the traveller to make the necessary arrangements and cover any associated cost with undertaking COVID-19 testing prior to departure

When should I arrange my COVID-19 test?

  • As soon as possible, noting that results may not be available for one to three days.
  • COVID-19 tests must be arranged within 96 hours of your flight departing Auckland.

Can I travel to the Cook Islands before I have received my COVID-19 test results?

  • No.
  • If you know you will not be receiving the results of your COVID-19 test prior to your check-in, please contact Te Marae Ora directly by either; email: tmo.exemptions@cookislands.gov.ck or Phone: Cook Islands +682 29 110

What if I am travelling from Australia (or another country)?

  • You cannot travel directly to the Cook Islands from Australia (or any other country). You will be required to stay in New Zealand for 14 days.
  • New Zealand requires all arrivals to enter their managed isolation facilities for 14 days.
  • Please check the New Zealand Government Managed Isolation and Quarantine website for applicable charges to enter their managed isolation facilities. https://www.miq.govt.nz/

What do I have to do to get pre-departure approval from Te Marae Ora?

  • Email tmo.exemptions@cookislands.gov.ck and advise the address of the residence that you wish to undertake your supervised quarantine for 14 days.
  • Te Marae Ora health officers, Police officers, and Puna representatives will visit the premises and conduct an assessment of its suitability for you to complete supervised quarantine.
  • If other family members will be residing with you, you must advise them that on your arrival, they will also be expected to undergo supervised quarantine for 14 days.
  • You must provide an alternative residence if a vulnerable person resides at your supervised quarantine residence.

What happens when I have provided Te Marae Ora my test result and my preferred residence to undertake supervised quarantine for 14 days?

  • Once Te Marae Ora has received the results of your COVID-19 test result (negative), and approved your nominated residence where you will undertake supervised quarantine in Rarotonga, your details will be communicated to Immigration Cook Islands who will provide final approval for you to travel to the Cook Islands.

AT AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

What should I remember to do when I am at Auckland International Airport?

  • When moving through the airport, please remain vigilant and maintain physical distancing as much as possible from other

Where is the health clearance service at Auckland International Airport?

  • Exit health clearance services are clearly marked inside the departure’s terminal.
  • This service is provided for all passengers departing Auckland for Rarotonga.
  • This involves a health questionnaire and temperature check undertaken by health officials.

What do I do when I enter the departures terminal?

  • Make your way to the exit health clearance desk.
  • A Te Marae Ora representative will be standing in front of the desk to present you with a print copy of the Category Quarantine Order specific to your flight.
  • Proceed through the exit health screening process.
  • Once you have obtained clearance, join the queue for check-in and proceed through customs to your boarding gate.

ON THE PLANE

What happens when I am on the plane?

  • It is mandatory for all passengers to wear face masks at all times, during the flight and on arrival in Rarotonga. Face masks will be provided by flight attendants.

ON ARRIVAL IN RAROTONGA

What happens when I arrive in Rarotonga?

  • Keep wearing your face mask until you reach the residence where you will be undertaking supervised quarantine.
  • Upon entering the arrivals hall, present your health arrivals declarations card to the health official. Should you require further health assistance, the health booth will be available.
  • Present your CookSafe registration form to the health official if you wish to register for the Cook Islands contact tracing programme. Registration is voluntary.
  • Proceed through Immigration and after picking up your luggage from the carousel, proceed through Customs and Biosecurity checks.
  • On departing the arrivals hall health officials will meet you and guide you to your bus and you will be transported direct to your nominated residence for supervised quarantine.

How do I get from the Airport to the place where I will be undertaking my supervised quarantine?

  • You will be transported to the place where you will be undertaking your supervised quarantine. This transport service will occur under the supervision of Te Marae Ora. You must follow the directions of officials at the airport.

SUPERVISED QUARANTINE

What is supervised quarantine?

  • Supervised quarantine is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you and in the Cook Islands – your family, friends, and colleagues – from catching COVID-19. It means taking simple, public health measures to avoid close physical contact with other people as much as possible.
  • It is important to note supervised quarantine is a specific public health concept used to remove some people from others for a short period of time, to prevent, limit or mitigate the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, and its effects in the Cook Islands.
  • Your supervised quarantine process will be governed by a Category Quarantine Order under the COVID-19 Act 2020.

What is the Category Quarantine Order?

  • A Category Quarantine Order is the legal instrument that outlines the rules you must follow during your 14 days of supervised quarantine in Rarotonga.
  • You must read the Category Quarantine Order specific to your flight carefully, so that you are familiar with the rules for supervised quarantine.

Where do I undertake my supervised quarantine?

  • You can undertake your supervised quarantine at the residence of your choice or alternative dwelling that has been pre-approved by Te Marae Ora prior to your departure from Auckland.
  • Any other person living in that dwelling will also be subject to supervised quarantine for 14 days.
  • The place where you are undertaking your supervised quarantine will be marked with a yellow flag and possibly tape to cordon off the property as required, to allow monitoring by the local Community Health Clinic services, community, and Puna, and to alert others that the dwelling is under quarantine restrictions.
  • The Puna will be providing 24/7 monitoring of your property to ensure there is no breach of the supervised quarantine process. Police will also provide mobile patrols from time to time.

When does my 14 days of supervised quarantine start?

  • Quarantine is for 14 days from the time you arrive in the Cook Islands.
  • It starts on arrival at Rarotonga International Airport.

What are the rules during my supervised quarantine?

  • The rules of supervised quarantine are set out in the Category Quarantine Order which will be provided to persons who are subject to the order and include that you must:
  • Every person in a quarantine area must:
  1. Not leave the quarantine area for the duration of the quarantine, unless specifically authorised, by Te Marae Ora or Emergency Services, to do so:
  2. Not interfere with the identification mechanism used to identify the quarantine area (eg. yellow flag, police tape, barrier etc.):
  3. Not to come within 2 metres of any person at the boundary of the quarantine area:
  4. Not permit any items or property to leave the quarantine area:
  5. Cooperate with health officials to undergo health checks:
  6. Follow any further directions given by health officials.
  • No person is permitted to enter the quarantine area unless they are authorised by the Secretary of Health to do so. In the event a person under quarantine becomes aware of any person (other than health officials) coming into their quarantine area, that person must notify health immediately on +682 54883.
  • Any food, water or medicines that are being delivered to the quarantine area must be left at the boundary of that quarantine area.

What happens if I breach a condition of the supervised quarantine?

  • Any breach of the quarantine requirements may result in prosecution and a term of imprisonment of up to 12 months or a fine not exceeding $10,000.
  • Police may also detain any person breaching the quarantine requirements and transport them to another facility.
  • That person may also be subject to a further order.

What do I do if I think I cannot meet the conditions of supervised quarantine?

  • In the event of any other issues arising that may affect your ability to carry out your 14 days supervised quarantine, you must contact Te Marae Ora on +682 54883.
  • Persons under quarantine must follow the directions given by health officials.

Can I go outside my room or home?

  • You may go outside your room or home, but you must stay within the parameters of your private property / yard.
  • Any form of exercise is permitted provided this is within the confines of your private property.

Can I leave my property to get food and other essentials?

  • You cannot leave your property.
  • You must arrange with family or friends to deliver food, water, and other essential medicines to your property.
  • Food, water, essential medicines, and personal items should be dropped off at the edge of your property.
  • If you need assistance with having these items delivered to your property, please let the health official know during the daily health checks and other arrangements will be made.

What if I have a medical prescription?

  • Health officials will be available daily to assist you should you require medicines.

Can I have visitors to my property?

  • No, you cannot have family and friends visit you.
  • Food, water, essential medicines, and personal items should be dropped off at the edge of your property.
  • The Puna officers who will be monitoring your property will direct visitors where to place any items for you.

What if I am feeling low or depressed?

  • Your emotional and mental health is important.
  • It is normal to feel stressed or lonely, but there are some things you can do to feel better.
  • Reach out to your usual support networks, like family and friends, and talk about how you feel.
  • Try to keep to a routine such as having regular mealtimes, bedtimes and exercising.
  • If you feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional. For support with grief, anxiety, distress, or mental wellbeing, you can call 0800 1814, to talk with a trained counsellor.

Can I complete my supervised quarantine in the Pa Enua?

  • No
  • The Cook Islands Government wants to keep the Pa Enua COVID-19 free.
  • Any person planning on travelling to the Pa Enua must arrange for accommodation to undertake supervised quarantine in Rarotonga.
  • Should you require assistance arranging somewhere to undertake supervised quarantine in Rarotonga, please contact Te Marae Ora directly at the following; email: tmo.exemptions@cookislands.gov.ck or Phone: Cook Islands +682 29 110

What if I start to feel unwell?

  • If you start feeling unwell – including with symptoms of fever, a new or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose or loss of smell – please remain in your home and contact health officials on 0800 1800 or 0800 1801.

What happens after 14 days?

  • Provided that you have tested negative for COVID-19 twice and you are not displaying any symptoms, your
  • quarantine will end after 14 days and you can move around freely.
  • If you test positive or start to show symptoms, then you may be subject to an Isolation Order and put into supervised isolation.

What happens if I receive a positive COVID-19 test in Rarotonga?

  • A risk assessment will be undertaken for you and any persons that have been residing with you or who might have come into close physical contact with you.
  • You and any other persons who are deemed to have come in close physical contact with you will be placed in supervised isolation/quarantine in a facility that will be determined by Te Marae Ora. Case and contact tracing procedures will follow.
  • Te Marae Ora will advise and support you through this process
  • Should you develop COVID-19 symptoms and require hospitalisation, you will be transferred to Rarotonga Hospital and admitted to the COVID-19 isolation ward.

Who pays for supervised quarantine / supervised isolation in Rarotonga?

  • You will be responsible for the cost of undergoing supervised quarantine / supervised isolation in your home in Rarotonga.
  • If you require hospitalisation, Te Marae Ora will cover your hospitals costs (if you qualify).

DURING AND AFTER SUPERVISED QUARANTINE

What if I feel unwell?

  • Contact 0800 1800 or 0800 1801 if you begin to feel unwell.
  • The symptoms of COVID-19 may include a new or worsening cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, coryza (head cold e.g. runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip), anosmia (loss of sense of smell).
  • Some may experience symptoms such as only: fever, diarrhoea, headache, myalgia, nausea/vomiting, or confusion/irritability.

How can I contact emergency services?

  • You can call emergency services on 999 if you have a health, police or fire emergency.
  • If you need to call emergency services, please let them know you are currently in supervised quarantine in Rarotonga.
  • Persons under quarantine must follow the directions given.

How can I contact social welfare services?

  • For all social welfare queries, call the Ministry of Internal Affairs on 29370 8am – 4pm Monday – Friday or email: internalaffairs@cgov.ck