People in the Cook Islands do not understand why a travel bubble has still not been finalised with New Zealand, despite being completely free of Covid-19.
But some in the community remain hopeful that it will happen within the next few weeks - just in time for Christmas.
Cook Islands private sector taskforce chairperson Fletcher Melvin told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that he was still "really hopeful" of that happening before the holidays.
"We've been working hard for this - so we don't see any reason why it shouldn't be."
He acknowledged many companies in the island nation, particularly in the tourism sector, have said they would have to make some tough decisions if the bubble did not eventuate.
"They can't continue to put money into their companies," Melvin said.
"A lot of the shareholders have indicated that this is the deadline for them. They've been closed for nearly a whole year, so we're really worried about it."
Like many Pacific Island countries, Christmas is one of if not its busiest times for tourism and bringing in money into the local economy.
Officials in the Cooks have been pushing for a travel bubble with New Zealand over several months, in the hope of pumping money back locally.
Early last month, a group of New Zealand officials travelled to the picturesque islands to evaluate in person whether or not it would be safe for Kiwis to travel there.
Melvin acknowledged the trip had otherwise gone well, so could not understand why the travel bubble has not been fast-tracked.
"We've been speaking about this [travel bubble] for so long.
"We can't understand - if they really wanted to find out if we were telling the truth about being Covid-free, they must now hear that once and for all that we are and that we'll continue to be," he said.
"And our borders are closed to the outside world and that the only border we would want to establish (is) between us and New Zealand.
"Why is it that people coming from the Cook Islands going back to New Zealand are still having to quarantine - it just doesn't make sense and it still won't make sense next week either."
Travel bubble with the Cooks still a no-go
Despite what Melvin says was a good reception, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins this week said preliminary advice suggested although officials were confident with the border restrictions in place in the Cooks, more work needed to be done around 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?"
The Cook Islands confirmed the number of Covid-19 cases there remains at zero.
The country's current status is code yellow - a shift from a public health emergency to a public health threat.
"The disease continues to surge in many countries worldwide," the country's dedicated Covid-19 Cook Islands Response website says.
"Even though the virus has not presented itself, the Cook Islands government has been forthright about the need for physical distancing and other measures to prevent transmission."
- additional reporting: Radio NZ