9 Nov 2020

Cook Islands travel may be happening by Christmas

From Checkpoint, 5:07 pm on 9 November 2020

The Cook Islands could be on the cards for Christmas, with health officials flying there this weekend to scope out the prospects of a travel bubble.

The Cook Islands, along with Niue and Tokelau, is a realm country - which means Cook Islanders are New Zealand citizens and are usually free to live and work here; so they were always going to be a travel priority for New Zealand.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions between the two countries have now wrapped up.

While she's still reluctant to put any time frame on a travel bubble, Ms Ardern says it could be in place a couple of weeks after the officials have given the green light.

Ardern says she continues to talk to her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison about the trans-Tasman bubble, most recently since the election.

She says the officials won't have to quarantine on arrival in the Cook Islands but will have to go into managed isolation when they come back to New Zealand.