2 Dec 2020

No hope of Pacific travel bubble before Christmas - Hipkins

8:44 pm on 2 December 2020

A travel bubble with the Cook Islands will not be in place before Christmas.

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Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

New Zealand officials travelled to the Cook Islands last month to investigate a possible travel bubble.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said preliminary advice suggested they were confident with the border restrictions in place.

However, he said work still needed to be done on testing and contact tracing.

"In the event that someone over there who's come from New Zealand tested positive, what would they need in terms of testing, what would they need in terms of contact tracing, what support would they need from us, what would our standard operating procedure be?" he said.

"If they ended up having to deal with a small outbreak over there, what would their expectations be of New Zealand in terms of repatriating New Zealanders who were on holiday over there?"

Hipkins said a time line on the next steps will be made public before Christmas.

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