NZ supports recovery of tourism sector. Image Source: IANS News

Wellington, May 17 : The Cook Islands has opened its border for the first time in more than a year, with New Zealanders able to visit the small Pacific nation from Monday.

The "travel bubble" allows New Zealanders and Cook Islanders to travel between both countries without the need to quarantine, reports dpa news agency.

While the bubble officially commenced on Monday, the first flight does not depart from New Zealand until Tuesday.

Air New Zealand will fly to the Cook Islands two to three times weekly but is expected to operate daily from July in time for the school holidays.

Both New Zealand and the Cook Islands closed their borders to all but citizens and residents in March 2020.

New Zealand has had a similar arrangement in place with Australia since mid-April, but the quarantine-free bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Islands does not include Australia.

Those wanting to travel to the islands must have been in New Zealand for 14 full days before continuing on to the Cook Islands or Australia.

The Cook Islands has never recorded a case of coronavirus, while New Zealand on Sunday reported one new case, detected at the border.

There are currently 19 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, which has seen a total of 2,290 cases and 26 deaths.

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