Vaccination a requirement for some international travelers

Secretary of Health, Bob Williams is warning people to read the writing on the wall that suggests that in future if you want to travel internationally, you will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

In drawing attention to the fact that one of the world’s largest airlines, Emirates, has required a Cook Islands resident to provide evidence of vaccination indicating it will not carry passengers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, Mr Williams believes it is only a matter of time before other airlines, and indeed countries follow suit. I note some destinations, for example, Hawaii are opening up but only to vaccinated tourists.

The Health Secretary is particularly concerned that while people on Rarotonga readily had their first Pfizer vaccine shot some are not turning up on the allocated date for the second one.

“To be fully effective in preventing serious illness or death people and to be issued a complete vaccination certificate, you need to finish the course and take the second vaccine shot, in accordance with the appointments made for them” Mr Williams stated.

A total of 9592 people of Rarotonga have had their first dose and as of midday Monday (14th June) 4913 have had their second dose. The vaccination team will be operating from 7am to 7pm, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and from 7am to midday on Sunday. The team then moves to Aitutaki on Monday 21st June.

On request, Te Marae Ora is issuing Certificates of COVID-19 Vaccination, which airlines, like Emirates require before accepting passengers.

Incoming travellers to Rarotonga are not currently required to have had their vaccinations.

ENDS: Enquiries to Jaewynn McKay +682 55486; For up-to-date information visit or