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Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS – October 30, 2020: 2:22pm (RNZ PACIFIC): The Cook Islands cabinet has decided to lift the requirement for incoming travellers to spend 14 days supervised quarantine on arrival.

This requirement, which has been in place for the last 8 weeks, was lifted as a reflection of the “improving” Covid-19 situation in New Zealand.

A release from the Cooks’ Prime Minister Mark Brown also said that talks between Cook Islands officials and New Zealand counterparts regarding a quarantine-free travel arrangement between the two countries were “progressing well”.

“I am hopeful that in the not too distant future we will once again be able to welcome New Zealand holiday makers to our paradise, and returning Cook Islanders back home to visit their anau and friends, without the need for supervised isolation on their return to New Zealand.”

In the meantime, cabinet approved the continuation of the air border closure for inwards passenger travel.

Exemptions are granted to passengers who are Cook Islanders, as well as the country’s permanent residents and work permit holders.

Brown said intending travellers would still be required to comply with health clearance requirements, including a negative covid-19 test.

The test is to be taken within 96 hours of departure from Auckland.

These travellers must spend at least the last 14 days in New Zealand prior to entry into the Cook Islands.

The lifting of the 14-day quarantine requirement for incoming travellers will be effective from midnight tonight Cook Islands Time.

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