Future flights to Cook Islands have been canceled. Photos / Files
New Zealanders have been barred from entering the Cook Islands for 72 hours with flights to destinations canceled.
It came as Auckland residents are sent back within level 3 limits for a whole week and the whole of New Zealand to level 2 after the emergence of new Covid-19 cases in the community.
The Cook Islands Cabinet met today and considered suggestions and recommendations from officials regarding a change in New Zealand’s level of vigilance, officials said in a statement.
Based on the advice they received, the Cabinet has decided not to allow passengers booked on the next flight arriving on the afternoon of Tuesday 2 March 2021 afternoon (CKT) to enter the Cook Islands.
The flight was scheduled to depart from Auckland Airport at 9.05 a.m. on March 3.
“The Cabinet agreed to reactivate the temporary closure of the Cook Islands air border for a period of 72 hours effective midnight tonight.”
The cabinet of countries will meet again on Monday to review the situation and will confirm whether to allow passengers on Friday flights or not, he said.
“The Cabinet makes its decision based on the minute advice it receives, including information from the New Zealand Ministry of Health,” Prime Minister Mark Brown said in the statement.
He also conveyed his appreciation to New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern and his officials for the “warning” shortly before a late night press conference at the beehive last night.
“I also want to thank our local community for following the advice of Te Marae Ora and the Cook Islands Police and doing their part to keep our community safe,” said Brown.
Cook Islands Immigration will contact affected travelers directly and passengers are temporarily encouraged to change their flight arrangements.