Omicron variant of Covid 19 coronavirus: Rarotonga, Air Zealand flight from Cook Islands designated as place of interest
Rarotonga, the only overseas destination that Kiwis can currently travel to and from without quarantine. Photo/NZME
An Air New Zealand flight from the Covid-19 free Cook Islands has been named as a place of interest.
Flight NZ945 from Rarotonga arrived in Auckland at 5.30pm on Tuesday this week.
Passengers seated in rows 53 to 57 – indicating the infected person may not have been a crew member – were considered close contacts.
They should self-isolate, get tested immediately and again on the fifth day after exposure, the health ministry said.
“Further isolation and testing requirements will be provided by public health.”
There have been no community cases of Covid-19 in the Cook Islands, which have a double dose vaccination rate of 96% of the eligible population.
Seventy percent of eligible people also received their reminder.
A spokeswoman for the Cook Islands Department of Health told Newstalk ZB that she was not aware the flight was a place of interest and therefore had no details as to whether the infection was from the island chain or New Zealand.
She was trying to find out later tonight.
The Cook Islands only opened up to quarantine-free travel with New Zealand days before transmission of the highly infectious variant was detected in the New Zealand community last month.
The country’s government has decided to keep the existing border open without quarantine with New Zealand, but with additional Covid-19 prevention measures in place.
Travelers must have received their second vaccination at least 14 days before departure and have proof of a negative Covid-19 test before departure to be able to travel without quarantine.