The people of the Cook Islands are truly grateful to remain COVID-19 free.
The Castaway crew are committed to keeping you safe during your stay with us, at the same time ensuring the health and wellbeing of our people and communities.
Entry and Departure Requirements
The Cook Islands to New Zealand
Before you depart the Cook Islands, all travellers (CI residents & visitors) must complete the mandatory online Nau Mai Ra contact tracing form as required by NZ Health & Immigration. You must have completed this form before you check-in for your flight. Air NZ check-in staff will ask for verification of completed form.
New Zealand to the Cook Islands
Before you depart New Zealand, all travellers (CI residents & visitors) must complete the Online Contact Information for travel into the Cook Islands? form. You must complete this form within 24 hours prior to your flight’s departure.
You must meet Cook Islands Immigration entry requirements
Quarantine free travel is between New Zealand and the Cook Islands only and you must have been resident in New Zealand for 14 consecutive days prior to travel. You will not be required to quarantine or self-isolate in the Cook Islands OR on your return to New Zealand.
You must ensure that if you leave New Zealand you are legally able to return to New Zealand. Refer to the Cook Islands Government Travel Advisory for more information.
Cook Islands Promise
The Cook Islands have developed ‘The Cook Islands Promise’ which is a joint commitment to protect all Cook Islands residents, and international visitors, from the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus widely known as COVID-19.
Developed by Cook Islands Tourism in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister and Te Marae Ora, the Cook Islands Promise includes some basic measures when applied will help to safeguard you says, Dr Aumea Herman Secretary of Health.
Our commitment to your safety in paradise works across 3 zones; the General Zone, the Explore Zone and the Stay Zone. Each zone requires actions from us your hosts, and from you, our visitors.
Q: Do I need to download a different COVID tracer app?
No, you do not. You can continue to use the NZ COVID Tracer app as it is compatible with the Cook Islands-wide contact tracing app, CookSafe+.
Users running the app can automatically share Bluetooth ID codes with users running the New Zealand Covid Tracer app without any extra modifications.
That means people travelling to the Cook Islands will not need to download anything new, and the same is true for Cook Islanders travelling to New Zealand.
Alternatively, you may use a QR Code card that is available on arrival to scan in at each location once registered.
HAVE A PLAN IF YOUR TRAVEL IS DISRUPTED
Have a plan for what to do if your return to New Zealand is delayed. You may need to stay in Cook Islands for longer than you planned, and you will need to meet any costs for this. Government assistance is unlikely to be available.
Community cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand or Cook Islands could lead to the Government pausing any quarantine-free travel arrangements while it gathers information about the risk.
NZ govt. has advised guests will be responsible for managing any disruption to their travel plans due to COVID-19.
Q: If I get stuck in the Cook Islands will I get a discounted room rate?
Castaway Resort has a special discount rate of 50% off your original room rate if this does occur and will be available directly after your original checkout dates end. It is only available if you are unable to return home to New Zealand after your original dates of stay have ended.
Q: Will I be sent back to NZ at a time determined by the government or airlines, rather than choosing my own travel plans?
There may be limited flights available for your return home to New Zealand if there is a border closure or restriction. Your airline will assist in any change of flights and rescheduling. However, we do have a special stranded rate if you wish to extend your visit for up to XX days
Q: If I am sent back to NZ before my holiday is finished what will happen to my prepaid unused nights?
To assist guests whose travel may be impacted, we will waive any cancellation fees and refund any unused portion of your stay for all individual stays booked directly with the hotel.
For individual bookings made by a travel agent or an online booking platform other than pacificresort.com, guests will need to contact their agent/booking site and refer to their terms and conditions regarding refunds and cancellation fees.
Exceptions may apply to specific offers and packages, please refer to the terms and conditions provided on your booking confirmation.
Q: Will the airline charge me change fees if my flights need changing?
Guests will need to contact their agent/booking site and refer to their terms and conditions regarding refunds and cancellation fees specific to their tickets as provided by the airline for your flights. Helpful airline links are as follows:
If you’re a temporary visa holder from New Zealand
If you’re a temporary visa holder from New Zealand, you should ensure you have enough time on your visa to cover an extended stay in Cook Islands if required. If quarantine-free travel is suspended and border restrictions are put in place, you must have the right to enter New Zealand and hold a valid visa — this may include seeking a Border Exception to return to New Zealand.
Register at SafeTravel
If you forgot to register at SafeTravel before you left New Zealand, we encourage you to do so now to get travel advice for Cook Islands.
Registering means the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), embassies and consulates can:
- contact you in an emergency situation
- provide consular assistance if needed
- check on your wellbeing, or
- send you important information.
Register at SafeTravel(external link)
IF THE COVID-19 SITUATION CHANGES IN COOK ISLANDS
We cannot predict when or how a case might appear. But we do have a plan for how we’d handle a wide range of possible situations. While any response will depend on the circumstances, like timing and location, it’s useful to know what to expect.
If there is a change in Cook Island’s COVID-19 status, check the COVID-19 website. They will tell you what you need to do. https://covid19.gov.ck/
You should also check these pages for advice:
These websites and our social media channels will announce changes to New Zealand’s or Cook Islands COVID-19 situation and to quarantine-free travel. Check them regularly for updates that may affect you.
Q: Could I be confined to my hotel room?
The resort will be given information by the Ministry of Health and will deliver this information to you if this is deemed to be a requirement. We would offer contact free room service options for your meals, however most housekeeping services are likely to be disrupted.
Q: Could I be confined to the Resort?
Yes, you may be required to stay within the resort grounds in the case of an outbreak in the Cook Islands. This is classified as the “Stay Zone”. We will advise you if this has been requested by the Ministry of Health and provide information to you to keep you informed.
Q: Could resort services be restricted if staff are asked to stay at home?
Yes, we may have some restrictions if the resort staff are required to stay at home and disruptions to the full range of services we usually offer to our guests. We trust you will understand in the unlikely event if we need to offer limited menu items available and limited services if this does happen.
Please be patient if this does occur, as our remaining team members will be working twice as hard to assist in this situation with less resources available and things may take longer than usual.
Q: Could I be required to go into MIQ when I arrive back in Auckland?
If the COVID-19 situation changes in Cook Islands, you may need to enter managed isolation or self-isolation when you return to New Zealand. If this happens, you will need to pay for your stay there. Applications to waive payments will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you need to travel to New Zealand urgently, you can apply for an emergency allocation. Managed isolation and quarantine(external link)
Q: Could there be C19 positive cases on my flight back to NZ?
This is very unlikely unless there have been detected community transmission cases in New Zealand that have travelled to the Cook Islands and brought COVID-19 into the community here. If a case is determined in the community in either location, it is likely borders will be closes and your flights may be cancelled. It is recommended you follow the Ministry of Health Guidelines for safe travel to limit any exposure on your flights.
If you feel unwell
Isolate yourself from other people and put on a mask if you have one; and stay in your accommodation.
Call Healthline on +0800 1800 or +0800 1801 or +0800 1802 for advice about what to do
Call our reception team and advise them you have contacted Healthline.
IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR C19 WHILE I AM IN THE COOKS:
Q: If I am treated in the CI what is the cost likely to be, and who covers this?
You should get travel insurance before you travel overseas. Read the travel insurance conditions and talk to your travel insurer if you are unsure about whether their policy covers COVID-19-related travel disruption.
There is a cost for treatment of any illness in the Cook Islands and could cost thousands of dollars. Your medical treatment costs would not be subsidised by the NZ government or by ACC which is a NZ based arrangement only. A non-resident cost for some medical services are as follows: Ambulance journey = $800.
Q: Will I be sent to NZ for treatment?
Cook Islands Hospital has a dedicated facility to accommodate any potential and serious cases of Covid-19 so treatment in New Zealand would only be determined by medical professionals if deemed the best outcome for the patient.
There is a 32-bed isolation ward that also includes 10 beds in two negative pressure rooms to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients, as well as other infectious illnesses.
Should a positive Covid-19 case be identified in the community, the Covid-19 ward – which has been named the ‘Te Kou ward’ – will be immediately activated by hospital staff
Q: Would this be on a commercial flight or a medical evacuation?
Given the infectious nature of COVID-19 it is likely that it would be on a medical evacuation flight if you need urgent treatment in NZ.
Q: If it is a medical evacuation, who covers the cost ?
You would cover the cost. Travel insurance is strongly advised. Read the travel insurance conditions and talk to your travel insurer if you are unsure about whether their policy covers COVID-19-related medical evacuation.
Q: Is there flexibility around changing my dates of travel?
For travellers affected by international travel restrictions we are making additional adjustments to our individual booking policies to give you extra peace of mind. Please refer to our COVID-19 Flexible Travel Policy here
Q: Is the Cook Islands Covid-19 free?
Yes! The Cook Islands remains Covid-19 free and we are doing all we can to keep it this way.
Q: What are the current travel restrictions in the Cook Islands?
You can access the current travel restrictions in the Cook Islands here.
Q: Have all the rooms and public areas in the resorts/villas had a deep clean?
We meticulously maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene; we have carried out a deep clean throughout all rooms, have increased the frequency of cleaning in our public areas and continue to use hospital grade disinfectants.
Q: What is the frequency of room cleaning?
Our rooms at all our resorts are serviced daily, unless you request otherwise.
Q: What is the frequency of public area cleaning?
We have increased the frequency of cleaning our public areas and continue to use hospital grade disinfectants.
Q: Is there hand sanitiser readily available for all guests/staff in all public areas?
Antibacterial hand sanitisers are available in all public areas e.g. reception and restaurants and are also available for staff back of house.
Q: What measures are being taken in restaurants with regards to physical distancing
Our restaurant offers hand sanitiser on arrival and our seating is set up to fit global physical distancing guidelines
Q: Are there room service options?