Message to our Guests

Kia Orana,
I am reaching out to you today on behalf of our beautiful sister resorts here in the Cook Islands, The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium, Sanctuary Rarotonga-on the beach and Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island, to assure you that in times of uncertainty surrounding travel, that your safety and wellbeing, and those of our staff, remain our highest priority.
We understand that you may be experiencing anxiety given the fast-changing regulatory and government environments including rapid changes to travel restrictions and cancelled or postponed public events. We want you to know that we are monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely, keeping those who are affected in our hearts, and are listening carefully to the questions and concerns we receive.
Currently, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 Coronavirus in the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands Government Ministry of Health (Te Marae Ora) is working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministries of Health of Australia and New Zealand in following international protocols to manage this crisis. Around the Cook Islands these international protocols are being followed by resorts, restaurants and our island community to assure the health and safety of our visitors and residents alike.

Caring for our Guests & Staff
Providing safe and clean environments for our guests and staff is always a top priority at our Resorts, and even more so today. We remain committed to upholding high standards of cleanliness and want you to feel at ease when you visit our Resorts.
Our Resorts have implemented the WHO and Cook Islands Ministry of Health guidelines detailing how to best protect against transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus, including implementing hand sanitizer stations, more frequent cleaning of high-touch areas and maintaining a safe social distance. Our Resort health and safety measures are designed to address a broad spectrum of viruses, including COVID-19, and cover everything from handwashing hygiene and cleaning product specifications to guest room and public area cleaning procedures.
We will continue closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and will respond based on the advice of the Cook Islands Government Ministry of Health and WHO.
We’re Here to Help
Should you be reconsidering your travel plans; we are pleased to be able to offer you the following special concessions to enhance the flexibility of your options. Please contact your travel agent, airline or government agency to confirm the latest information regarding your travel plans.

Existing bookings
If you have an existing reservation on non-refundable or flexi rates, you can change your reservation to a new date up to 31 March 2022, subject to availability, without any change fee, when advised in writing to the Resort, no later than 7 days prior to travel. This concession is available until 30 April 2020.

New bookings
If you choose a non-refundable rate, this is not be refundable. You are advised to purchase travel insurance to cover any unforeseen eventualities.
If you choose a flexi rate, the cancellation period has been reduced from 30 days to 7 days for reservations to 31 March 2022 that are made by 30 April 2020.
We are at the ready to assist you with your special requirements. Should you wish to defer your travel dates, please email us at info@rarotongan.co.ck or info@aitutakilagoonresort.com as applicable.
Thank you for your support and your loyalty as we all face this challenge to humanity together. We recognize that these are unsettling times and whether you are travelling now or in the future, we want you to know that your safety and wellbeing are our priority.

Kia Manuia!

Bob Taylor
General Manager

MESSAGE #2 FROM THE
NEW ZEALAND HIGH COMMISSION

Kia Orana,

The New Zealand High Commission provides a summary of the current New Zealand border restrictions, current as of midday 20 March 2020 CI time.

For up to date entry requirements to New Zealand, visit:

  Meitaki to those who completed the form yesterday, if your haven't done so already, the High Commission requests that accommodation providers seek permission from guests to collect and share the information at the link below, to help form a picture of the number of affected travellers. Email your completed form to Sarah Short: Sarah.Short@mfat.govt.nz 
 
For People Departing Cook Islands (entering NZ), follow New Zealand border measures.

New Zealand Entry Requirements

As of 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020, people allowed to enter New Zealand are as follows:
• New Zealand citizens, and residence class visa holders, and their immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children under the age of 24) can still come to New Zealand.

• Immediate family members cannot travel by themselves. They must travel with the New Zealand citizen or resident family member on the same flight to New Zealand.

• Australian citizens and permanent residents who normally live in New Zealand can still come to New Zealand.
ALL returning residents and citizens (including Cook Islanders) must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival in New Zealand.

NZ Transit Requirements

Transit through New Zealand is temporarily limited to those listed above, but with the addition of:
• Australian citizens, residents and immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children under the age of 24) are able to transit New Zealand to Australia.

Foreign Travellers that cannot enter or transit through New Zealand

• Most foreign travellers can no longer enter or transit through New Zealand under the current temporary border closure.
• We recognise that these temporary measures mean some foreign nationals cannot leave Cook Islands, and this is causing distress.
• We are taking the details of foreign nationals unable to leave Cook Islands, and their circumstances (please use the attached form, and email it to sarah.short@mfat.govt.nz).
• New Zealand’s Foreign Ministry is aware of this situation.
• We ask foreign nationals to prepare to sit tight in the meantime, and to contact their own embassies to register their situation.
• Contact details for foreign embassies in New Zealand are available here: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/embassies/.

Entry will also be permitted for any immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian, and dependent children) if they are travelling with one of the above persons.

Provided that no person falling in the above category will be permitted entry if they have been outside New Zealand or the Cook Islands in the last 14 days prior to travel.



MESSAGE #3 FROM THE
NEW ZEALAND HIGH COMMISSION

 The New Zealand High Commission wishes to alert all travellers and accommodation providers that as of midday 22 March CI time, two airside transit windows are in place for repatriation purposes.

Third country nationals flying to their home country will be able to transit in Auckland International Airport as follows:

1. An initial transit window of up to 1500 Tuesday 24 March (NZT) enables travellers from the Pacific or South America to transit via New Zealand to Australia. This timing coincides with the end of Australia’s existing transit window (which commenced at 1200 AEST, 21 March).
2. A second window of up to one week (Sunday 29 March NZT) to enable transit via New Zealand:
a. from Australia to the United States and Canada for US nationals and Canadian nationals
b. from the Pacific for other nationals not transiting Australia to their home countries.

The following requirements have been determined by the New Zealand Ministry of Health for passengers wanting to transit Auckland International Airport and must be strictly observed:

• no COVID-19 test result that is positive or for which the results have not been received in the previous 14 days
• no close contact with a suspected or confirmed case in the previous 14 days
• no symptoms, especially no fever (temperature check undertaken) in the previous 14 days
• an assurance that airline will permit boarding for the full journey
• an assurance received via NZ MFAT that the destination country will permit arrival
• an assurance that they can meet any entry requirements of destination country (including measures required in transit, such as temperature checking)
• The airline does not allow unwell passengers on board.

Please note that the approved transit windows are for travellers to remain airside for no longer than 24 hours in Auckland before departing to their next destination.

We encourage all travellers who have not yet secured tickets within this window to contact Air New Zealand directly to book travel before the window closes, and to provide their passport and travel details to the New Zealand High Commission, by email to nzhcraro@gmail.com, as well as updating your own embassy.

Finally, the situation in New Zealand is evolving rapidly and subject to change, particularly since the Prime Minister's announcement today that New Zealand is now at level 3, and will move to level 4 in 48 hours.
Meitaki Maata.

For the latest updates please visit; 

https://covid19.gov.ck/