Travel to the Cook Islands

Information on current travel restrictions

International travel

From 1 February, for a month, no unvaccinated people will be allowed entry into the Cook Islands. The only exception is children under 5 years who are travelling with Cook Islands Residents or Work Permit Holders. 

Pre-Arrival Travel Requirements

All visitors to the Cook Islands are classified into 3 Groups. This is to ensure that regulations comply with the Cook Islands international law obligations. The 3 Group classifications are:

Group 1: Visitors
Group 2: Diplomats & Permit Holders
Group 3: Cook Islanders & Cook Islands Permanent Residents

Evidence of Vaccination

An official vaccination certificate from the country of administration will be required as proof of vaccination status. For New Zealand travellers, you will need an ‘INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL VACCINATION CERTIFICATE’. Note this is different to the ‘MY VACCINE PASS’ issued for use within New Zealand. A My Vaccine Pass is not accepted.

RT-PCR COVID-19 Tests

All passengers are required to have a RT-PCR COVID-19 test within 48 hours before their scheduled flight from AUCKLAND to Rarotonga. Please note that a PCR saliva test is acceptable.

Passengers will need to have both their COVID-19 test sample taken and the result returned within 48 hours of the scheduled AUCKLAND departure time. They must have their negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result documentation ready and available for check-in and immigration processing.

The evidence of a negative result from an RT-PCR COVID-19 test must be provided in an electronic or hard copy document that confirms:

  • the person’s name; and
  • the person’s date of birth or passport number; and
  • the date and time the test was conducted; and
  • the name of the laboratory that carried out the test; and
  • the type of test carried out; and
  • the test result.

RT-PCR COVID-19 pre-departure tests from free Community testing stations in New Zealand, and text message results are not accepted. All tests must be conducted by NEW ZEALAND MINISTRY OF HEALTH ACCREDITED LABORATORIES who will provide supporting travel documentation.

Group 1: Visitors

A person under Group 1 must:

  1. Have been in New Zealand or the Cook Islands for at least a period of 10 days before their scheduled flight to the Cook Islands.
  2. Be fully Vaccinated and provide Evidence of Vaccination.
  3. Complete a COOK ISLANDS MINISTRY OF HEALTH ONLINE TRAVEL DECLARATION FORM 96 hours prior to their departure flight to the Cook Islands.
  4. Provide a negative result from an RT-PCR COVID-19 test administered within 48 hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight to the Cook Islands.
Group 2: Diplomats & Permit holders

A person under Group 2 must:

  1. Provide evidence of Immigration permit.
  2. Have been in New Zealand or the Cook Islands for at least a period of 10 days before their scheduled flight to the Cook Islands.
  3. Be fully Vaccinated and provide Evidence of Vaccination. If you are medically exempt from vaccination, please provide proof of your medical exemption.
  4. Complete a COOK ISLANDS MINISTRY OF HEALTH ONLINE TRAVEL DECLARATION FORM 96 hours prior to departure flight to the Cook Islands.
  5. Provide a negative result from an RT-PCR COVID-19 test administered within 48 hours before the scheduled departure time of their flight to the Cook Islands.

Exemptions from Group 2 

A person is Group 2 can be exempted from the requirement to be vaccinated if they;

  1. Have a medical exception, or
  2. Is under the age of 12 years and 3 months.

The exempted person must comply with the following additional requirements after entry to the Cook Islands:

  1. They must enter, and remain in, at-home quarantine for 5 days after their arrival in the Cook Islands; and
  2. undertake an RT-PCR test on the day of, or day after, their arrival in the Cook Islands; and the fifth day after their arrival in the Cook Islands.

To apply for medical exemptions email TMO.EXEMPTIONS@COOKISLANDS.GOV.CK

For more information regarding entry requirements please contact: IMMIGRATION2@COOKISLANDS.GOV.CK

Group 3: Cook Islanders and Cook Island permanent residence

A person under Group 3 must:

  1. If a Cook Islander: provide evidence of their Cook Islands status; if Permanent resident: must provide evidence of their Permanent Resident status. To request endorsement of your Immigration Status CLICK HERE
  2. Have been in New Zealand or the Cook Islands for at least a period of 10 days before their scheduled flight to the Cook Islands.
  3. Notify the Ministry of Health of their vaccination status and, if they state that they are Fully Vaccinated and provide Evidence of Vaccination.
  4. Complete a COOK ISLANDS MINISTRY OF HEALTH ONLINE TRAVEL DECLARATION FORM 96 hours prior to departure flight to the Cook Islands.
  5. Provide a negative result from an RT-PCR COVID-19 test administered within 48 hours before the scheduled departure time of their journey to the Cook Islands.

Persons from Group 3 are permitted entry into the Cook Islands regardless of their vaccination status. However, for those aged over 12 years 3 months who are unvaccinated and do not have a valid medical exemption, conditions of entry include:

  1. Mandatory 10 day period in supervised quarantine (at the traveller’s expense)
  2. Mandatory RT-PCR COVID-19 tests on arrival into the Cook Islands and during the quarantine period.

Persons in Group 3 who are unvaccinated because they have a medical exemption or because they are under the age of 12 years and 3 months will be subject to at-home quarantine and mandatory testing requirements.

Exemptions from Group 3

A person is Group 3 can be exempted from the requirement to be vaccinated if they;

  1. Have a medical exception, or
  2. Is under the age of 12 years and 3 months.

The exempted person must also comply with the following additional requirements after entry to the Cook Islands:

  1. They must enter, and remain in, at-home quarantine for 5 days after their arrival in the Cook Islands; and
  2. undertake an RT-PCR COVID-19 test on the day of, or day after, their arrival in the Cook Islands; and the fifth day after their arrival in the Cook Islands.

A person in Group 3 who does not provide evidence of vaccination and does not get an exemption must:

  1. Enter, and remain in, managed quarantine for 10 days after their arrival in the Cook Islands; and
  2. undertake an RT-PCR COVID-19 test on:
  • the day of, or day after, their arrival in the Cook Islands; and
  • the fifth day after their arrival in the Cook Islands; and
  • the ninth day after their arrival in the Cook Islands.

Children must enter manage quarantine with adults

Children who are not required to be vaccinated but who are travelling with a person aged 18 years or older who is required to enter managed quarantine must enter managed quarantine with that person.

Exemptions

The Cook Islands Government requires all non-Cook Islands citizens to meet COVID-19 vaccination requirements before travelling to the Cook Islands.

Exemptions will only be made for the following group(s) under these conditions:

Group 2 and Group 3:

  • Children aged under 12 years
  • Persons aged over 12 who cannot be vaccinated due to medical exemption

To apply for medical exemptions email TMO.EXEMPTIONS@COOKISLANDS.GOV.CK

Please note that the entry criteria will change depending on Cook Islands Covid Safe Framework. For more updated information on Cook Islands international travel please visit WWW.COVID19.GOV.CK  

Travel to New Zealand

Travel to New Zealand remains unaffected. All passengers must complete the NAU MAI RĀ TRAVEL DECLARATION before leaving the Cook Islands. You will not be able to board the plane if you have not completed it. Check the NEW ZEALAND COVID-19 website to view travel restrictions.

Entry Requirements

This document will help guide passengers seeking entry into the Cook Islands from New Zealand. All requirements must be met including verifying your residency or permit status, and all documents (e.g. negative test result) must be confirmed by Te Marae Ora Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration in order to be granted entry to the Cook Islands. 

Please fill in and send completed forms and supporting documents via email to immigration2@cookislands.gov.ck

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Quarantine

Unvaccinated travellers will be subject to additional health protocols dependant on vaccination status upon arrival into the Cook Islands.

The Health Protocols include:

  • 5 days self quarantine
  • 10 days Managed Quarantine
  • COVID-19 tests on day 0, 5 and 9

The following classifications of people will need to undergo certain health protocols mentioned above, upon arrival to the Cook Islands:

  1. Persons aged over 12 who are not vaccinated and do not have a medical exemption: 10 days Managed Quarantine with tests on Day 0, 5 and 9
  2. Please note that if a minor (aged 12 – 17) in this group is travelling unaccompanied, a caregiver or guardian will have to enter 10 days Managed Quarantine with them. The traveller must also cover these Managed Quarantine costs of that caregiver
  3. Unvaccinated travellers aged under 12 years who are travelling with unvaccinated adults: 10 days Managed Quarantine with tests on Day 0, 5 and 9
  4. Persons aged under 12 travelling with vaccinated adults (or adults exempt from vaccination) or travelling unaccompanied: 5 days home isolation tests on Day 0 and 5
  5. Group 3 travellers (Cook Islanders and Cook Islands Permanent Residents) who have a medical exemption from vaccination: 5 days home isolation tests on Day 0 and 5
Quarantine – Costs

Room (maximum two adults; or two adults, one child; or one adult, two children)

First Adult – $2,142.00

Additional Adult – $825.00

Child (3 – 12 years) – $500.00

Villa (maximum six adults; or three adults, three children)

First Adult – $3,350.00

Additional Adult – $790.00

Child (3 – 12 years) – $500.00

Child under 3 years – $250.00

Family groups beyond the room maximum can choose to be accommodated either in a villa, or in two rooms.

For all MIQ registration please contact: mfem.siqf@cookislands.gov.ck

Frequently Asked Questions

  • COVID-19 tests are available for 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
  • As soon as possible, noting that results may not be available for one to three days.
  • COVID-19 tests must be arranged within 72 hours of your flight departing Auckland.
  • 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
  • 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/
  • Once Te Marae Ora has received the results of your COVID-19 test result (negative), your details will be communicated to Immigration Cook Islands who will provide final approval for you to travel to the Cook Islands.

Domestic travel

In order to protect our Pa Enua (Outer Islands), travel to these Islands has been categorized by 2 bubbles:

  • Bubble 1: Rarotonga & Aitutaki
  • Bubble 2: Rarotonga & other Pa Enua (except Aitutaki)

For all travel in Bubbles 1 and 2, you must meet the following requirements:

Bubble 1: Travel from Rarotonga to Aitutaki

  1. Provide a negative result from a supervised Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) administered on the day of departure to Aitutaki. A Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) testing facility is available at the Rarotonga Airport. If you are transiting directly from New Zealand to Aitutaki, a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) test is not required.
  2. Provide evidence of full vaccination or has a Pa Enua Travel exemption.

Bubble 2: Travel from Rarotonga to other Pa Enua (except Aitutaki)

  1. Provide a negative result from a supervised Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) administered on the day of departure. A Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) testing facility is available at the Airport.
  2. Provide evidence of full vaccination or has a Pa Enua Travel exemption.
  3. Has resided in the Cook Islands for a continuous period of 7 days before the day of departure.
  4. Sign a declaration confirming that they have been in the Cook Islands for 7 consecutive days

Pa Enua Travel Exemptions

Pa Enua Travel Exemptions

Persons who are unvaccinated may apply for a Pa Enua travel exemption.

Exemptions will be granted to applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant was resident in the Cook Islands on 13 January 2022.
  • Has not travelled outside the Cook Islands during the period from 13 January 2022 until the date of application.
  • Does not intend to travel outside of the Cook Islands before travelling to the Pa Enua under this exemption.

To apply for a Pa Enua Travel exemption email tmo.exemptions@cookislands.gov.ck

Exit Health Screening Procedures

There are no restrictions for travellers departing Rarotonga for the Pa Enua however Te Marae Ora has established exit health clearance procedures to strengthen border measures and limit the spread of communicable diseases including Dengue, to the Pa Enua.

Te Marae Ora staff based at the airport and seaport will conduct a temperature check on all travellers for Dengue and COVID-19. This will be done via a thermoscan to the forehead.

Any travellers who meet the following criteria will be referred for medical assessment and may not be allowed to proceed to board the vessel:

  • have a temperature ≥38°C
  • fulfill the case definition/clinical criteria for a communicable disease such as Dengue
  • tick yes for any questions on the form

Travel Advisory

What is a Travel Advisory?

A travel advisory is issued by Government agencies that pertain information on safe travelling to and from foreign countries . The purpose of travel advisories are to ensure travelers make informed decisions when travelling internationally or domestic, to protect their health and the health of others.

Forms

International arrivals

All international arrivals will be required to complete the International Arrivals Health Declaration form upon entering the Cook Islands. This can be completed prior to departure from Auckland, on the plane, or as soon as you arrive on Rarotonga. You can complete the form online or a hard copy will be provided at the airport.

All international arrivals are required to complete the mandatory Online Contact Information form within 96 hours prior to departure. You must present this document (your completed form) to airline officials before boarding the aircraft. Please be advised that you may be prevented from boarding the aircraft if you do not provide the appropriate document. Please note that there is a dedicated helpline available, should you have difficulties completing the form. It will be available from Monday to Sunday, 8 am to 9 pm. All queries after this time will be attended to on the following day. Please contact +682 56180 or email tmo.exemptions@cookislands.gov.ck

Any person who plans to stay in the Cook Islands for more than 31 days are required to have a Cook Islands stamp or a permit issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration. They must complete a Medical Immigration form prior to travel. Please refer to the IMMIGRATION NEW ZEALAND WEBSITE for a list of panel doctors to complete medical examinations. If you need more information, call +682 29110. 

Domestic departures

Any person departing Rarotonga to the Pa Enua (outer islands) will be required to complete the domestic departures health declaration form. This form must be completed prior to departure from Rarotonga, either online or via hard copy provided at the air/sea port.

Health Clinics

Any person visiting health clinics on Rarotonga, with recent travel overseas, will be required to complete a health declaration form. This form must be completed prior to any face-to-face consultations with a health professional.