New Zealand created its first travel bubble with the Cook Islands wherein people can travel between the two countries without quarantining.
New Zealand arranged its first travel bubble since the country closed its borders due to the spread of coronavirus. The travel bubble with the Cook Islands will allow travellers to travel without quarantine.
Officials from both countries had been ordered by the leaders of the South Pacific countries to start making arrangements to resume travel between them from the first quarter of 2021 keeping in mind the low infection rates and special ties between them.
Cook Islands is one of the very few countries in the world to remain COVID-19 free. New Zealand, like many other countries had closed its borders for all foreign nationals in March this year. It’s neighbouring country Australia is slowly opening up too and wants to share a similar kind of travel bubble with New Zealand but the country has declined Australia’s offer as of yet.
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister said in a statement, “The arrangement recognises the special ties between New Zealand and the Cook Islands.”
Also, Mark Brown, Cook Islands’ Prime Minister said that the travel bubble is “the next step towards resuming many aspects of life in the Cook Islands that have been disrupted by Covid-19, including access to health and education, and reuniting family and friends.”
Around 80,000 people from New Zealand identify themselves as Cook Islanders. Although Cook Islands is an independent country, it’s citizens automatically get New Zealand citizenship.