A HONEYMOON couple have been left stranded on the Cook Islands with no possible return for at least two weeks.

Deana Mansers and Rhyso Harries had a month-long trip for their wedding and honeymoon to the islands in the South Pacific.

The newly married couple, from Bobblestock had a dream adventure planned taking in New Zealand and California before returning home.

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Despite their planned cruise around the Pacific being cancelled the couple decided to carry on with their wedding and honeymoon on the Cook Islands.

To leave the Cook Islands flights go via America, New Zealand and Australia.

But when they headed to the airport for their flight home on March 20 they were told that America had cancelled their visas and closed the country’s borders.

“We were then left at the airport in sheer panic,” said Mrs Mansers.

“We had help to find accommodation for another few days by the people of the Cook Islands, and after speaking to my tour operator back in England re-booked flights via Hong Kong for the only date they could get us for March 27.”


However, before they flew home Hong Kong also closed its borders along with Australia and New Zealand, leaving the couple stranded.

Mrs Mansers, who works as a travel agent, logged the couple as stranded with the UK authorities and New Zealand embassy.

The Cook Islands have also closed their borders and the country is on code ‘yellow’ lockdown, meaning all restaurants are closed and those that remain open are only providing a takeaway service.

Most tourists on the island have also left, meaning hotels have also now shut.

“We have no sign of a flight in or out until the middle or end of April, and that still depends on the borders being opened here,” said Mrs Mansers.

“So we are now settled into an apartment for the foreseeable future. We think there are about 60 people left stranded here, but it’s nice to know we’re on the safest place on earth right now as there are no cases of the coronavirus.

“They had a suspected case, which is why they went into code yellow, and now anyone who can get back into the country has to self-quarantine and have a yellow flag outside their door.

“It’s getting harder as all the resorts and restaurants are closed, so we now have had to become self-sufficient and go to supermarket and start cooking ourselves.

“It is also super expensive. Just a block of cheese is 12 dollars, and bread costs six dollars.”


The couple say the Cook Islands feel a lot different now to when they were married two weeks ago unaware of the problems that awaited them.

Despite there being no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Cook Islands the couple say restrictions are still in force.

Mrs Mansers said: “As much as we would like to return home we all feel safe here and some of us are also scared to leave as we all watch the news.

“To be on an island where there is no virus we can still have freedom as long as we adhere to social distancing rules.

“They have had to take drastic measures here to make sure the island does not get coronavirus here as there are only two ventilators on the whole island, and medical supplies and visits are usually done in New Zealand.

The people here are all taking good care of us and they are being super sensible. We are all grateful to be on the safest place in the world.”