The Cook Islands border will still open to Kiwis next month, despite the Government's announcement it will push out the reopening of the Australian border.
Graeme West, general manager of Cook Islands Tourism Corporation Australasia, said quarantine- and isolation-free travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands will still kick off on January 14.
Yesterday Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins made a suite of changes to the operation of the border and MIQ as well as confirmed the Covid vaccine will be available for 5-11-year-olds from January 17.
The transtasman border - also due to reopen on January 17 - has now been pushed to the end of February, resulting in Air NZ having to cancel around 27,000 flights.
"It's definitely all-go for the border reopening on 14 January 2022," West said.
"Yesterday's announcement from the NZ Government affects New Zealanders coming from Australia, it does not affect the isolation- and quarantine-free travel to and from the Cook Islands."
Since the travel bubble resumption was announced last month, bookings have been building steadily as people appreciated the unique luxury of an overseas holiday on a beautiful tropical island without having to quarantine or self-isolate at either end of their trip.
"It's a pretty special position to be in and Kiwis are definitely relishing the opportunity," he said.
Managing the health and safety of Cook Islanders and visitors has been the Government's top priority since the start of the pandemic.
"They've done a stunning job with 99 per cent of the population 12 years and over having had their first shot and 96 per cent fully vaccinated for some time now. Booster shots are under way and the vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years will start early next year."
Requirements for travel to the Cook Islands from January 14:
• All visitors must be aged over 12 years and be fully vaccinated. Once children 5-11 years of age in the Cook Islands and NZ are vaccinated, they will be allowed to visit.
• Visitors must get a Covid-19 test no more than 48 hours before departure and show the negative result at departure and on arrival. Travel to Aitutaki is permitted, but travellers will undergo a rapid antigen test before boarding their flight from Rarotonga to Aitutaki.
• Visitors will be required to complete a Cook Islands contact form no more than 96 hours before departing New Zealand. To assist with tracing in the Cook Islands, travellers will be required to download the Cooksafe+ Bluetooth app as well as use their personal Cooksafe QR code card given on arrival.