It was odd when Hawaii proclaimed quarantine free travel for those carrying recent negative covid-19 tests on the same day Kauai, one of its most popular islands boasted a new “resort bubble” program designed to make quarantine more bearable. Surely, in a few weeks, no quarantine would be needed at all, right?
Now, we know why. Kauai isn’t going along with the wider Hawaiian guidance that will allow travelers carrying a negative covid-19 test to skip quarantine from October 15th, and will instead push for double testing, requiring at least three days of quarantine.
Kauai Double Testing And Quarantine
Kauai’s current “resort bubble” plan allows travelers to land on the island and enjoy all their resort has to offer during the county’s currently mandatory 14 day quarantine period, provided they don’t leave and agree to electronic monitoring.
Basically, you’re a very fortunate prisoner on the island of Kauai, confined to whatever your resort of choice has to offer, and attempting to leave, or tamper with your new electronic monitoring fashion accessory could result in criminal prosecution.
Many travelers around the world presumed Hawaii’s wider plans to officially allows inbound visitors to skip quarantine from October 15th, by bringing a recent negative covid-19 test, would apply to all islands, thus ending the need for the resort bubble program.
Kauai’s Mayor Derek Kawakami says not so fast, and instead wishes to re-test every arrival onto Kauai, and force them into at least 72 hours of quarantine before being allowed to re-test, and potentially then be eligible to move freely.
Despite Hawaiian Lieutenant Governor Josh Green’s assertion that the new pre-travel testing program creates 1:1000 odds of someone carrying a recent negative covid-19 result and still importing the virus, Kawakami says it’s not good enough.
If you’re thinking of adding Kauai to your Hawaii trip, you’ll need to consider the potential implications of the proposal. As part of Mayor Kawakami’s double testing proposal, arrivals to Kauai would be required to submit to a second test, but no sooner than 72 hours after arrival. It’s unclear whether the test will be at a cost to the traveler.
The plan from Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami effectively means three days taking part in the resort bubble program, until a second test result is received. Assuming it’s good news and negative, you’d be able to skip out on the rest of the 14 days of quarantine.
The second “rapid” result would spring travelers from their electronic monitoring, and duty to stay bound to their resort sometime on or after the third day, making for what should be no more than four days of hassle. For a seven day vacation, which is typically all most travelers have, it’s a significant setback.
With less than two weeks to go before arrivals pile in, Kauai’s proposals add new uncertainty to an already tenuous reopening of tourism, to a destination largely reliant on tourism. For now, assume that if Kauai is part of your plans in Hawaii, you’ll need to isolate for at least three days first.