Discussions on a possible travel bubble with New Zealand are in progress at an official’s level, according to the Premier Dalton Tagelagi.
Today, the Deputy Prime Minister of Cook Islands told the AM Show that a two-way travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Islands will start as early as next week following discussions with his counterpart Winston Peters and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Cook Islands counterpart Henry Puna last night.
Responding to queries by BCN News, Niue’s Premier Dalton Tagelagi stated they are still in consultation with New Zealand counterparts and stakeholders.
“Although there have been no cases of COVID 19 in Niue, before any steps are taken to reduce the current level of restrictions, that the appropriate consultation with the relevant Government Departments and their counterparts in New Zealand needs to be undertaken such as contact tracing capabilities.” Said Tagelagi
Brown also stated that they are expecting a quarantine free arrangement in the travel bubble with New Zealand.
“Cabinet consideration will be subject to many different aspects, but primarily the risk factor and our ability to respond. For now, current restrictions will remain in place until August 2020.” Said Tagelagi
Niue is a realm country along with the Cook Islands and Tokelau. Niue remains COVID-19 free.
Meanwhile, a response from the Office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand to the media states “The Prime Minister spoke to the Cook Islands’ Prime Minister yesterday to convey that she has asked officials to work on timelines for reopening with realm countries. There are no set dates yet, and any speculation at this stage would be very premature. The number one priority will continue to be the safety of both New Zealand and Realm countries. No one wishes to be responsible for COVID entering into the Pacific.”
One News reports that the New Zealand Prime Minister has shut down speculation around a travel bubble opening soon between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, but has asked officials “to work on timelines for reopening with realm countries”.