Back in December, Kauai suspended its participation in the Hawaii Safe Travels program. However, the Garden Isle is slowly opening itself back up again as Kauai rejoins the inter-island pre-travel testing program.
Following the start of Hawaii’s Safe Travels pre-travel testing program, coronavirus cases on Kauai began climbing at an alarming rate. True, the average rate of cases remained within single digits per day. But, as I’ve reiterated many times before, Kauai has a total of just nine ICU beds and 111 hospital beds. And, at the time that Mayor Kawakami removed the island from the Safe Travels program, there were already far more cases than available ICU beds. Perhaps more concerning, though, was this surge was happening on an island that previously had zero cases. However, Mayor Kawakami has now gained approval from Governor Davide Ige for a plan that he believes will help ease Kauai back into pre-travel testing while continuing to provide ample protection for his residents.
Kauai Rejoins Inter-Island Pre-Travel Testing
Beginning on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, travelers may once again avoid mandatory quarantines when they travel from any other Hawaiian island to Kauai so long as they obtain a pre-travel test first. If, however, are coming from out-of-state, you’ll need to remain on one of the other islands for at least three days and obtain an inter-island pre-travel test before heading to Kauai. As such, this inter-island pre-travel testing program is aimed more at Hawaii residents.
Post-Travel Testing + Resort Bubbles
For visitors heading directly to Kauai from out-of-state, a different program is available. Instead of being confined to their hotel room upon arrival, transpacific travelers can opt to stay at a resort bubble instead. At these resort bubbles, those under quarantine can move freely about the property. This includes the use of restaurants, pools, bars, etc. Then, after a few days in quarantine, travelers can obtain a post-arrival test. If the test comes back negative, travelers can then move freely about the island.
Kauai Rejoins Inter-Island Pre-Travel Testing, Final Thoughts
With cases surging to new record highs on the US mainland, Mayor Kawakami says he doesn’t know when Kauai will rejoin the Safe Travels transpacific pre-travel testing program. With vaccination efforts underway, though, I hope we can all return to normal sometime later this year. Hawaii’s economy depends on it. Plus, I personally cannot wait to begin safe and responsible travel once again.