The Public Health Measures under the COVID-19 Safe Framework outline how the Cook Islands will operate since borders reopened on 13 January 2022. It is important that you are actively aware of these Public Health Measures to keep yourself and others safe.
To view the full COVID-19 (Public Health Measures) Regulations 2021 document signed Order in Executive Council on 23rd December 2021 by Sir Tom J. Marsters, KBE (Queens Representative) click below.
Face masks are encouraged to be worn in all public settings and if you are 6 years of age or older, they must be worn on public transportation such as:
- School/public buses
- Passenger transfers and,
- Domestic and international flights.
There are some exceptions to the requirements to wear face masks, such as
- When a person is under 6 years of age.
- When a person who has a physical or mental illness, condition or disability.
- When a person is eating or drinking.
- When in a defined or enclosed space that is separate from the passenger area of a vehicle that is in use as part of a public transport service.
- When a person is taking medicine.
- When communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, and visibility of the mouth is essential for communication.
- When asked to remove the mask to ascertain the person’s identity.
- If wearing a face mask is not safe in all of the circumstances.
- In an emergency.
- When removal of, or not wearing, the face mask is otherwise required or authorized by law.
To apply for medical exemptions email [email protected]
High Risk Premises
A high risk premises is defined as one that has 4 walls and a roof, regardless of how many windows or doors it has.
The following premises are considered high risk:
- Close proximity businesses such as hairdressers, beauty salons and tattoo parlours
- Enclosed Cafés and Restaurants and, if part of the Café or Restaurant is enclosed, the enclosed part
- Bars and nightclubs
- A School Hall if 100 or more children are expected to be inside the hall at the applicable time
- Enclosed retail premises and, if part of retail premises is enclosed, the enclosed part
- Enclosed office spaces open to the public
- Any other premises specified as high risk by the Secretary of Health
Everyone is encouraged to be aware of the restrictions that may be applicable to enter a high risk premises.
A high risk premises can choose to only allow fully vaccinated people to enter.
They must clearly display that evidence of vaccination is required for entry.
Evidence of vaccination includes:
- A Te Marae Ora Vaccination certificate.
- A Te Marae Ora Vaccine card.
- Or a valid My Vaccine Pass issued by New Zealand Government.
Alternatively, if a high-risk premises chooses to allow anyone to enter the premises, they must comply with the following requirements:
- The number of people in the premises at any one time is limited to 100 people excluding staff.
- Everyone on the premises must wear a face mask.
- Everyone must observe the 1-meter physical distance rule.
No entry restrictions apply to the following premises as they are considered essential services.
However, some service providers may impose additional public health measures.
The following premises are not considered high risk:
- Petrol Stations
- Dairies or grocery stores
- Schools or other Educational Institutions
- Court or Tribunals
Contact tracing in the Cook Islands is free, easy and accessible to all. There are two parts to our national contact tracing system, CookSafe and CookSafe+. All visitors and residents are encouraged to participate. If a COVID-19 case is identified, the Ministry of Health will be able to trace people who may have been exposed to the virus using the CookSafe database and via notification by CookSafe+ app users.
Everyone is also encouraged to use our contact tracing systems:
- Sign up for your own CookSafe QR card to tag in or sign in manually wherever you go. Visitors to the island will be registered automatically and receive a digital copy of their CookSafe QR code in their email once they complete the Cook Islands Ministry of Health online travel declaration form.
- Download the CookSafe+ Bluetooth tracing app
Contact record keeping is required for the following:
- All regulated businesses and services
- All gatherings or events with an expected attendance of 100 persons or more
There must be either a CookSafe tag-in station or a manual contact record keeping system on premises that people are encouraged to use. If you are unsure about any of your contact record keeping requirements or would like more information, please contact the Chamber of Commerce 20925 or Te Marae Ora 29110.
Regulated Businesses and services means; a supermarket, dairy, or grocery store: a retail business: a health service: a museum, public library, or gallery: a cinema: a church: a gym: a food or drink business or service: a close-proximity business or service: an accommodation provider that is able to provide accommodation in 5 separate rooms or units at the same premises.
Gatherings & Events
Entry requirements (vaccination, face masks, etc) into the Gathering or Event is determined whether it is held at a high risk premises. (see High Risk Premises above).
A person responsible for any Gathering or Event that expects to have 100 people or more in attendance must have the following contact tracing systems in place:
- Have a CookSafe tag-in station or a manual contact sheet available in 1 or more prominent places.
- Have processes in place to ensure that every person aged 16 years and over who enters the gathering or event (including persons working at the gathering or event) scans at the CookSafe tag-in station or enters their details into a manual contact record.
This applies whether it is a public or private event and takes place either indoors or outdoors.
All manual contact sheet records must be kept for a period of 30 days and made available to the Ministry of Health on request.
For more information about CookSafe and to get your Gathering or Event registered, contact CookSafe on 20925 or email [email protected]
What defines a Gathering?
Gatherings are situations where people are intermingling in a group and remain closer than 2 metres from each other.
Gatherings include (but not limited to):
- a gathering to undertake voluntary or not-for-profit sporting, recreational, social, or cultural activities
- a gathering to undertake community club activities
- a faith-based gathering
- a funeral
- a gathering held in a defined space or premises of a workplace (other than a vehicle in use as part of a public transport service) that have been hired for the exclusive use of the gathering by a person (other than the person who manages or controls the defined space or premises)
This excludes a gathering for the purpose of a business or service:
- at an office workplace
- as part of its ordinary retail operations
- at a hearing of a court or tribunal
- as part of its ordinary operations at an education entity
What defines an Event?
An Event is any activity organized by a business or service where entry is controlled (whether through ticketing, fees, registration, or any other means) that is held at:
- Any commercial premises or private premises (whether indoors or outdoors)
- Publicly-owned premises hired for the purpose of the activity
- An outdoor area where a group of customers and clients is accompanied or supervised by a worker providing services to that group (for example, a guided tour).
This includes normal operations at cinemas, theatres, stadiums, concert venues, conference venues, and private galleries; but excludes any activity at a private dwelling house.
COVID-19 Health and Safety Officer
A business or service (including a Government department or Agency) with 2 or more employees must appoint a COVID-19 Health and Safety Officer. The business or service must provide the name and contact details of the COVID-19 Health and Safety Officer to the Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health may:
- Liaise with the COVID-19 Health and Safety Officer about matters relating to the application of these regulations to the business or service
- Require the COVID-19 Health and Safety Officer to be released from duties at work (without deduction to their pay) to undergo training relating to managing and preventing the spread of COVID-19, including training in how to administer supervised rapid antigen tests.
In order to protect our Pa Enua (Outer Islands), travel to these Islands has been categorized by 2 bubbles:
- Bubble 1: Rarotonga & Aitutaki
- Bubble 2: Rarotonga & other Pa Enua (except Aitutaki)
Click below to view Pa Enua (Outer Island) Travel Requirements
Providing False Information
A person must not provide false or misleading information or any document that does not belong to them.
A person must not:
- Provide false or misleading contact tracing information required for a contact record under these regulations
- Provide as evidence of vaccination a vaccine pass or certificate issued to another person
- Provide as evidence of a medical exemption, a medical exemption granted to another person
- Provide any document required under these regulations that has not been issued in accordance with these regulations or has been changed or tampered with in any way