Pacific bubble: Flights between Cook Islands and NZ predicted.
Radio New Zealand reported yesterday that the Cook Islands government expects to confirm a "travel bridge" with New Zealand in the next week.
Quoting more of the news bulletin it said:
“The concept would allow people to travel between the two countries freely, and follows a meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her counterpart Henry Puna last night.
“Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown says there's a desperate need for tourism in the country.
"We are Covid-19 free ... New Zealand is in level 1 with no community transmission. So we are quite happy to see the establishment of a new travel bridge," Brown said.
"Tourism is a huge part of our economy - up to 70 percent - we've got 45 percent of our workforce that is on the wage subsidy with no other support which is going to end by September."
He said it was imperative for the Cook Islands that it had a travel bridge working and that some sort of tourism was starting before September to enable families and businesses to survive.
“No date has been set for the planned resumption of flights between the two countries.
“PM Ardern said she had tasked officials with opening a travel bubble with the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau.
"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," Prime Minister Ardern said in a statement.”
The Solomon Islands is free of Covid-19 and the country, too, is hugely dependent on tourism and those in the tourism industry suffering financially from the loss of the tourism business.