13 May 2020

Cook Islands PM says reopening borders a key priority

6:51 am on 13 May 2020

The Cook Islands prime minister says reopening the country's borders is one of his key priorities.

Henry Puna said it may be the only way to kick start the economy.

In locking down the country on the 5th of March, Mr Puna said he wouldn't compromise the health of his people for economic gains.

Speaking to the Cook Islands News this week, Mr Puna said the country remains Covid-19 free, and any reopening would have to ensure that it remained that way.

Henry Puna

Henry Puna Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Johnny Blades

But he said the Rarotonga Hospital now has an isolation area and coronavirus testing kits.

He said the pandemic's highlighted the need to diversify away from tourism, but the visitor market will be crucial in the medium term.