Managed Returns from New Zealand

Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration have received over 500 expressions of interest to take advantage of the following Cook Islands Government Managed Returns flights:

  • AKL - RAR: Departing Friday 19 November 2021
  • AKL - RAR: Departing Friday 3 December 2021

All of the registered have been informed of the documentation required to complete their application for the managed return flight home.


Repatriation requirements out of Auckland (Cohort #2): 

  • Cohort 2 will depart Auckland on Friday 3 December (NZT). It will arrive into Rarotonga on Thursday 2 December (CKT). 
  • Those being repatriated will need to undergo a COVID-19 test 72 hours before departure, as well as a health screening at Auckland Airport before boarding.
  • Upon arrival, pax will be transferred directly to the Edgewater Resort to undertake at least 10 days in Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ).

Important Information for Cohort #2 MIQ Guests: 

  • Upon arrival at the MIQ Facility, returnees will be pre-checked and will be escorted to their respective rooms.
  • As part of the government-funded programme, meals will be provided. However, family and friends who wish to may drop off food and personal items, not alcohol, at Edgewater Reception for MIQ guests.
  • Absolutely NO items can be left by returnees for family/friends to collect – this includes medication being carried for someone else.
  • Edgewater staff will make deliveries to guests around mealtimes only – 7 am, 11 am, 5 pm – so please ensure any deliveries are at Reception before these times.
  • Individuals will be given the opportunity to exercise outdoors however, no swimming is permitted.
  • Returnees will receive daily health checks to ensure their well-being, and for the wellbeing and health of others.
  • Upon completion of 10 days of supervised quarantine at the facility, a health professional will confirm all returning residents meet a certain set of criteria prior to release.
  • This includes confirmation individuals have followed strict protocol and been in supervised quarantine for at least 10 days, have no symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and have produced a negative test result for COVID-19.
  • Any breach of the quarantine requirements may result in prosecution and a term of imprisonment of up to 12 months or a fine not exceeding $10,000.

Read the full Press Release Here: Operation Turou Part 3: Managed Return of Stranded Cook Islanders and Cook Islands Residents


After a joint Ministry review, the Cook Islands Government has decided to remove all MIQ charges. The Cook Islands Government has also increased the number of passengers travelling from 150 to up to 200 for each flight having confirmed MIQ space availability.

What you need to know:

  • All intended travellers are required to self-isolate in their home (as much as possible) for the 10 days prior to their departure date.
  • Te Marae Ora advises that all passengers from birth+ are required to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the departure date (Tuesday,16th of November 2021 for Nov 19 flight and 30 November 2021 for the 2nd Flight). (Any queries regarding this test are to be directed to Te Marae Ora at [email protected]
  • Evidence of a negative result will need to be provided prior to check-in for your flight. No test result means that you will be unable to travel.
  • The Te Marae Ora Online Contact Information form will need to be completed within 72 hours of your travel date.
  • MIQ upon arrival to Rarotonga for 10 days including COVID-19 testing on Day 0, Day 5 and Day 9.
  • There are no vaccination restrictions being imposed on those travelling on these 2 flights, however, vaccination is highly recommended.

Managed Isolation/Quarantine (MIQ)

  • MIQ is subsidized by Government.
  • Preference is given to returning secondary and tertiary students, medical referral patients and their immediate caregivers normally resident in the Cook Islands.

Protocol for booking Air New Zealand airline ticket

  • You must have an “approval to travel letter” to purchase a ticket on these flights:
  • Tickets can only be purchased by contacting the Rarotonga Travel centre on email: [email protected] and attaching your “approval to travel letter”.
  • Customers with existing credits or bookings must provide either ticket numbers or a booking reference.
  • Preferably all bookings must be ticketed/paid 72 hours before day of travel
  • Tickets cannot only be purchased or changed with the Air NZ Rarotonga Travel centre-you cannot purchase a ticket online.
  • Phone number for the Rarotonga travel centre is 00 682 26300

The Managed Returns team will continue to work through the process to assist and assess all registrants, but we remind applicants that it is their responsibility to comply with the guidelines, and we encourage all to submit their complete information in a timely manner.

Registration for both managed return flights closed 12 November 2021. All queries can be sent to [email protected]

For more information contact: [email protected]