Kauai Travel Update December 2020

Blue Ocean Kauai

Kauai Travel Update December 2020


Blue Ocean Kauai

Effective Dec 3rd,  the Governor of Hawaii approved the Mayor of Kauai’s recommendation for a return to 14 mandatory quarantine for all people; visitors and residents alike, returning to Kauai.   

The reason given for this Kauai Travel Update December 2020 is the increase in number of cases since the island opened up on Oct 15th.   Arguments back & forth regarding the response to the virus continue of course.

Visitors will be allowed to visit Kauai but only if they stay in one of 5 resorts; the county has partnered with The Cliffs at Princeville, Hilton Garden Inn, Koa Kea, Kukuiula and Timbers. Through this program, visitors will be required to wear bracelets that track their movements but be able to utilize resort amenities like on-site restaurants and spas.

I have to comment here something that may make me unpopular with the County but I believe has to be said.   These resorts are all very expensive so anyone traveling on more of a budget would not do this.   Furthermore, coming to Kauai only to sit around a pool or possibly play tennis is not most people’s idea of visiting the Garden Isle.    I’m assuming these resorts were chosen since they all offer pools, tennis, other amenities.   They are all great resorts but I doubt whether many visitors will come when they are made to wear arm bracelets!   The Grand Hyatt applied for the program and was approved but has chosen to close until the rules change.

Naturally many island residents do not agree with this decision but that is the situation now.    Unfortunately many people who thought they were coming to Kauai for Xmas had to cancel their well laid plans.     We are so sorry that this has happened and wish you joyous Holidays even so.    Hopefully next year you can come back and celebrate with the Aloha Spirit on Kauai.

My own thoughts on this are that after Xmas, that tourism may very well return to a more normal state in Hawaii, Kauai included.

Further Kauai  Travel Update Dec 5 2020

Apparently  all our county mayors of Hawaii have agreed on a new, unified, Safe Travels modification, and are awaiting word from Gov. David Ige.

The joint proposal would require incoming trans-Pacific travelers to take a pre-travel test as well as a post-arrival test three to four days after arrival, Mayor Derek Kawakami said Friday.     Kawakami said the temporary opt-out of the Safe Travels program was to get ahead of a spike in cases in the county.

Since Wednesday, the county has been enforcing a 14-day, mandatory quarantine of all travelers, regardless of pre-travel or post-travel tests, residency or where they are traveling from.  “Our hope is to avoid a lockdown on our island and continue in Tier 4, which is the least-restrictive tier,” Kawakami said.

“The suspension on the Safe Travels program is intended to be temporary, and we fully expect there will be modifications.”“The joint proposal by the mayors is specific to trans-Pacific travelers, so the assumption is that inter-island travel would remain on the current Safe Travels program,” a county spokesperson said Friday.

New Recommendations on Quarantine from CDC ~ quarantine for a week?

Earlier this week,  CDC released new recommendations on quarantines, suggesting travelers get tested up to three days before a flight, then tested between three and five days after travel while staying home for a week. With a negative test, quarantine can be shorted to a week.  Without a test, the CDC recommends a 10-day quarantine.

Friday, the Hawaii state Department of Health followed, shortening its quarantine guidelines for those who have been potentially exposed to the coronavirus, like close contacts. The DOH officially recommends 10 days “to improve compliance without significantly increasing the risk of transmission in the community,” a press release stated.

“We are following the CDC’s guidance for a shorter quarantine to address the mental- and emotional-health issues caused by isolation, and to improve compliance,” said Dr. Elizabeth Char, DOH director, in a press release. “This updated guidance balances the ongoing need to control the spread of the virus in our state while also continuing to safely reopen our state and reducing the personal burden of quarantines on Hawai‘i residents.”

Kawakami said he and his team will continue to monitor the situation, but there is no word yet on shortening the two-week quarantine on Kaua‘i.“There is no testing exemption, but we are aware that Governor Ige is considering new CDC quarantine guidance, and could reduce the length of the travel quarantine down to the recommended 10 days,” Kawakami said.

Quarantine rules as of Dec. 4

According to Kauai’s Rule 23, travelers must quarantine, negative pre-test or not when arriving on Kaua‘i.

Residents, as well as visitors, may spend their two-weeks at private residences.

However, in accordance with a past order, visitors may not stay in transient vacation or short-term rentals, like those found on Airbnb or VRBO. Visitors are also not allowed to rent cars until after the 14-day quarantine.   More at The Garden Island Newspaper. 

My own thoughts on this are that after Xmas, that tourism may very well return to a more normal state in Hawaii, Kauai included.In the meantime, check back as I will post an update on when Kauai reopens again following this Kauai Travel Update December 2020.

Aloha ~ Happy Christmas ~ Mele Kalikimaka ~ A Hui Hou

Azure ocean Kauai


About the Author

Kauai Advisor ~ Francesca Azuremare ~ has lived on Kauai for 22 years. I feel blessed to live in such a magical, beautiful place. Over the years I have helped thousands of people find the perfect place to stay on Kauai whilst also advising on everything from places to propose to the best Na Pali boat ride. Now I'm sharing that information here. It's the Hawaiian way. Aloha!