Kauai, Hawaii

Hawaii is a destination that hasn’t mixed words on short term tourism. It was so eager to get rid of anyone who wouldn’t take quarantine laws seriously, it even set up a fund to get them off the islands and on their way anywhere else.

With such stringent lock down requirements for residents, and 14 day quarantine for arriving visitors, Hawaii has been one of the more successful popular places to maintain excellent health figures.  With the world now looking toward reopening for the future, Hawaii has a few proposals to keep its excellent track record just that.

For starters, Hawaii, or at least lawmakers in the Hawaiian State Senate wants laws in place so they can throw the book at you, your car rental company or hotel, if you’re found to be in breach of the 14 day quarantine restrictions. Presently, restrictions and fines are all about the violator, and not those who could be seen in aiding the violation.

According to Hawaii News, the State Senate is seeking legal footing to include fines and or criminal charges in relation to the following measures, the enforcement of which carriers up to $5,000 fines or 1 year sentences. The proposals add bite to what’s currently in place, going after not only the offender but the hotel or car rental company too, including…

  • immediate fines for violators of the quarantine.
  • fines for hotels where violators are staying.
  • hotels to withhold room keys so visitors are unable to come and go.
  • visitors be barred from renting cars during the quarantine period.
The Princeville Kauai

Here’s how this all works. Until further notice, arrivals into Hawaii must self isolate for 14 days, but hotels are still an acceptable place to do that. The rule is simply that you cannot for any reason leave your hotel room, so make sure to pay that upgrade fee for an ocean view room if you’re in this camp!

You can look at paradise, but not touch.

This is where the key restriction comes in. Hotels would be required to keep the only key to the room, which would make it incredibly hard for a guest to get out and back in again. With larger fines not only for property, but the person offending as well, chances of success are more likely.

Of course, some rooms are ground level and offer a patio out back, so this is never going to be perfect, and enforcement at some point could become more trouble than it’s worth.

In the near term, it’s not hard to see how some of these things could make sense. Eventually though, once it’s believed that the worst has been avoided and economies must restart, places like Hawaii where tourism “is” the economy, must seek other less restrictive solutions.

Europe, just a few weeks ahead of the USA in grappling with the crisis is already looking to establish negative testing standards before someone would be allowed to board a flight. Pass, on you go. Fail, vacation cancelled.

If someone were to test positive,  they’d be excluded from boarding. Anyone testing negative, or displaying antibodies would be allowed to board as usual and most importantly – immediately enjoy their trip without 14 days of Netflix. Austria was the first to not only propose, but actually enact this form of testing.

This style of proactive monitoring could rid the Hawaiian Islands of a 14 day quarantine which makes leisure travel all but impossible, while maintaining a safety net. With summer, and most importantly fall travel coming around relatively soon, it’s something many around the world will hope happens soon.

With a trip on the books for October, I can only dream…

HT: Jeffsetter

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation


  1. So what’s their proposal? It’s either something is missing or it’s the same as it is.

    1. The proposal is to tackle the issue from both sides. Offending visitors have always been accountable, but now the businesses taking them in or doing business with them would be accountable for any breaches. Less “wink and nod”, go to the pool stuff…

  2. Some of that stuff is unconstitutional and people wouldn’t put up with it. Rental car companies would sue and win.

    2 weeks in a hotel room, I’m sure smokers would gladly wait 2 weeks.

    Only a hotel manager keeps the key? People would just move the dresser in front of the door and keep it open at that point.

    Remember, this is the same state where clowns in the government legitimately thought they could ban the travel “blue book” guides.

  3. @jared you have every right to stay in your hometown, not wear a mask and spread the disease to your at-risk family members. Keep America Great and Number one in the COVID charts. We are winning!

    1. The challenge here is that the negative testing works well for non-stop flights like you can do intra-Europe; there aren’t as many long or ultra long haul flights to Hawaii from the East Coast, let alone Europe. Adding in connections increases change of spread.

  4. The racism of Hawaiians toward any visitor is coming out…….I have never been to a place in the world where the local population just hates tourists more than Hawaii………..they have a real deep seeded disdain for those coming to enjoy their islands……….but since 85% of their economy is tied to tourism this will give them a real opportunity to determine if their islands without income is better than their jobs!

    1. It’s not racism. Hawaii is made up of people of all races, including white people like me, and I don’t want tourists coming here YET either, until the pandemic is under control. Our infection rate has thankfully been very low, in part due to the travel restrictions, and we want to keep it that way, without tourists maybe unknowingly infecting others. Please respect our home and don’t come here until the pandemic is under control.

    2. They are islands in the middle of water, thousands miles away from any continents in all four directions. They have limited sources on medical staffs and facilities, especially way worse outside Oahu. They are not like the mainland. It’s not like they can have assistance readily from other states near them. Once virus spreads, they are literally doomed in the middle of nowhere with limited source. Even 90% food in Hawaii is imported from outside. They have every reason to avoid tourists at the moment.

    3. Well when TOUISTS think its ok to travel to an island surrounded by water and start killing my family I agree 100% with my fellow Braddas and Sistas. You guys can go to your own home towns to vacation. If you had family living in Hawaii boy you would be thinking differently wouldn’t you. Because of tourits coming over, you put them out of work, My islands will survive this just like mainland is and good keep your money with you they don’t need ignorant people like you.

  5. As a bord/raised Maui resident, I agree with @Jared, these are stupid. So many of my friends and family are now being refused our “right to work” while those getting paid by the government or fortunate enough to currently still have a job scream saying we’re “selfish” for not just staying at home. NO, I’m selfish because I don’t know how I’ll pay my mortgage or feed my kids next month because my employer isn’t being allowed to open because no tourists are coming.

    @Dumb_Maga WE beat the curve and yet Ige and our mayors not letting kama’aina go to the beach unless we’re constantly moving? Our hospitals were NEVER close to being full or overrun. They won’t even if we open back up, they’re feeding your fear with their lame daily facebook live feeds. And we are NOT #1 in America, Montana and Alaska have us beat.

    Hawaii is leading the charge in fear, our numbers are low because once the outbreak happened, people stopped getting on planes, NOT because of quarantine. We all know most people didn’t obey it. We should open up, practice social distancing and wear our masks, and get on with life. Those measures will work. ENOUGH of the FEAR! Plus airport testing is a double edged sword, if they someone catches it before they fly out, then they’d have to stay on island to get treated…..

  6. The unemployment benefits will run out for those Hawaiian people who depend on tourism. When they have to pay their rent, bills and feed their family and come up with rabbit ears, that is when they will want the tourist dollars to return. Right now, I’m feeling like the “Aloha Spirit” is just a farce. They have made their true feelings about tourists known. I’ll keep my dollars on the mainland and get leid here!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *