The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, and the Premier of the tiny Pacific island of Niue, Dalton Tagelagi, have announced next steps towards quarantine-free travel between the two countries.
Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel between Niue and New Zealand’ have concluded and both Cabinets have agreed to its signature.
“We welcome progress towards the recommencement of two-way travel between Niue and New Zealand,” said Tagelagi.
Niue has successfully remained Covid-19 free
The arrangement outlines the health and border requirements that each country must meet in order to recommence quarantine-free travel, and provides further detail on the implementation, including border and travel protocols.
“Niue has successfully remained Covid-19 free throughout 2020, and this next step is a testament to all of our hard work to protect ourselves and the Pacific,” Ardern stated.
According to an official statement, in recognition of Niue’s virus-free status, the two leaders have also agreed that officials will progress discussions to enable one-way quarantine-free travel from Niue to New Zealand.
This is to enable improved access for essential travel and to support Niue’s economic recovery.
Both one and two-way quarantine-free travel
“Both countries will now develop in further detail the practical measures needed to safely recommence both one and two-way quarantine-free travel,” the statement said.
Niue has less than 1,500 residents, who have dual citizenship as a self-governing nation in free association with New Zealand.
It is a coral atoll in the centre of a triangle of Polynesian islands made up of Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. It is located 2,400km north-east of New Zealand.
Similar plans recently agreed with Cook Islands
A similar travel arrangement was recently agreed with the Cook Islands to recommence two-way quarantine-free travel in the first quarter of 2021.
The Cook Islands, located 3,200km from New Zealand, has also remained Covid-free during the pandemic. It is a volcanic archipelago of 15 islands in the South Pacific and has a population of around 17,000 people.
“This arrangement is the next step towards resuming many aspects of life in the Cook Islands that have been disrupted by Covid-19, including access to health and education, and reuniting family and friends,” Cook Islands Prime Minister, Mark Brown, said at the time of the announcement.