Quarantine To End First Interisland

Could Latest Plans Derail Hawaii Reopening on October 15?

Hawaii is planning for tourism to resume starting October 15. Some dark clouds are looming, however, and questions are now starting to arise that could potentially put the kibosh on many visitors’ plans. Here’s what we have learned as of this morning. And we say that because it could still all change later today.

Governor Ige said yesterday that there is a shortage of tests available in Hawaii. Why that is so important to Hawaii’s overall reopening will be clear as you read on.

So the original idea was that if you flew directly to Honolulu or a neighbor island from the mainland, there would be no quarantine with a negative test. But if you were to fly between two islands in Hawaii, the 14-day quarantine would likely still apply.

Ige said yesterday that “The challenge is access to tests. Our concern is the number of tests we currently have available… Typically, we conduct 2,000 to 3,000 tests every day. We want to make sure that we don’t take away from that capacity for leisure travel or travel that wouldn’t be as high a priority.”

This was the first time the governor has taken questions on reopening during the past two critically important weeks since he first announced travel restarting without mandatory quarantine effective October 15.

Three island mayors want a shorter quarantine followed by a second test rather than eliminating the 14-day quarantine.

BOH: These developments bring up a plethora of questions with unknown answers. At this time, the governor has yet to approve the mayors’ requests.

1. Kauai’s mayor said yesterday, “This program would require all travelers, transpacific and interisland, who wish to avoid a full 14-day quarantine to take a COVID test no sooner than 72 hours after arrival to Kauai. All incoming arrivals would be required to quarantine for a minimum of three days after arrival on-island. After three days, travelers could take a COVID test, and those with a negative test would be exempt from the remainder of their quarantine period.”

BOH: Would the 72-hour quarantine be at a special hotel or an ultra-expensive resort bubble at Timbers or Kukuiula? Then you would need to change accommodations thereafter to stay at uber-popular Hawaii vacation rentals. And what about car rentals? If they remain prohibited during quarantine, will visitors have to return to the airports to pick up cars after three days? This all seems onerous and confusing for most visitors. Visitors will be loath to quarantine under unclear circumstances for the first three days of a typically seven-day long Hawaii vacation.

2. Maui’s mayor also likes that 3-day retesting plan, and said, “When you’re talking transpacific, we want to pre-test, and then 72 hours after they land, in quarantine or in their bubble resort, another test to show that they’re negative.”

3. Honolulu’s mayor would also like a second test for arrivals but has reservations. He said, “And if we did a second test for all of those folks, the capacity, the testing capacity, just is not there to do what needs to be done, so we have additional challenges that the other counties don’t have.”

BOH: So what do we have here? An October 15 date for reopening. But apparently, all islands (we’re still waiting to get clarification from Big Island today) are advocating for a second test after a 3-day quarantine. If all of this seems so unclear to us, and we are on the ground and do this professionally, what must visitors be thinking? Once again, we have a PR nightmare brewing with time passing quickly.

What are your thoughts, please?

202 thoughts on “Could Latest Plans Derail Hawaii Reopening on October 15?”

  1. Aloha !!

    I’m curious to know how Hawaii will be handling the future, potentially very unsafe, non-properly-tested-per-traditional-means vaccines that will be popping onto the scene shortly. According to your AG, Josh Green, all of Hawaii will be vaccinated, as will all incoming travelers. That was a very bold statement for people like myself, who are very, very against taking any mandated flu vaccine. There are a lot of us who also have very strong religious concerns regarding the rushed push. Are you planning to discriminate against people like myself who have been traveling to the islands for years for mental health / well-being ?? It feels as if this is going to become a very exclusive ‘Members Only’ Club setup moving forward…

    Vaccines have never been able to eliminate any virus completely, nor do they prevent the spread of any virus. Please shed some light on what people are thinking and planning for the future regarding vaccines and reopening without restrictions. I’d rather skip out on vacation if I am unable to escape the un-reality I am facing at home every day now…

    Mahalo for your time,

    1. Hi Victor.

      We have not heard our Lt. Gov. Green say he expects all visitors or residents to be vaccinated and that will simply never be the case. At this moment, we don’t have any more insights to share than we have already. But we are happy to answer any questions as best we can.


  2. As a frequent. visitor to Hawaii over 40 years, I would happily accept preboarding testing followed by a second test 2-3 days after arrival,but quarantine only if a test is positive. Everyone practices distancing.wearing masksp and frequent hand sanitizing.

  3. Genius leaders in Hawaii are at it again. Their second test and 72 hour quarantine could have been included in the original plan, but of course, was not. They will be dependent upon federal bailout money. At some point the federal debt will bury us all.

    1. Don,
      You’re so right. The Mayors and the governor are in a huge power grab. Our State has been mismanaged for decades. They haven’t had a solid plan since the beginning of the pandemic. Kauai has been hit with some of the most draconian measures in the nation.

  4. Aloha,
    It can’t be a “Resort Bubble” because once an employee leaves, the bubble is popped, therefore, a stupid term. We need to open our tourism. Everyday we wait, the more our economy is devastated.

  5. Respectfully,
    The state needs to be open or not. I am willing to wear a mask and social distance. I am willing to pay for a test within a week of leaving for HI. I am not willing to be trapped in a hotel room. My time and money are too valuable for this hassle. I must take my vacation time and money elsewhere until the Islands are Truly Open.

  6. I wrote off Hawaii 2020 travel long ago. I was a bit hopeful 2021 would be a realistic time to plan a trip. Now more than ever I have no faith that the Hawaiian government has any reasonable idea on how they will re-open. As noted before, I will sit this out until there is a time where one can book a trip with high confidence. No idea when that time will come. Likely well past vaccine availability time and the vaccine topic brings its own issues we can hardly guess about (i.e., show proof of vaccination & privacy issues). Good luck to all and prayers for the residents of Hawaii who at best have a very uncertain future.

  7. Aloha Guys

    Ask yourself this question what were the 2 big issues for residents of Hawaii before Covid-19?

    Over tourism and high cost of housing.

    The mayors of both Maui and Kauai have recently come out against having tourism return at the level before quarantine began, so how do you fix those 2 issues.

    You force short term condo renters to pay to quarantine at a 72hr bubble resort and then pay for a second covid test. This will discourage short term condo rentals.

    Next with property taxes coming due many short term vacation condo owners will be forced to sell which will flood the market and depreciate prices. I’m already seeing this trend online housing sale sites.

    A law will be passed to eliminate any grandfathered in short term vacation rental condo permits. From that point on most applications for short term vacation condo rentals will be denied except in high dollar rental area’s like Wailea which will be designated a tourist zone.

    Housing prices will fall tourist volume will fall problem solved.

    Who wants this?

    A lot of residents, big corporate resort owners and the mayors of the Hawaiian states.

    If they their way bargain travel to Hawaii is over.

    1. You actually have a decent analysis. Just a few observations from a 20-year Malahini:

      As both an STVR owner and real estate investor, my eye is on the market daily. You are somewhat incorrect about a trend that floods the market. If that happens it will be mid-2021 at the earliest. The locals, Mayor and over tourism issue is valid and frankly, as one who cares more about the a’ina than money, necessary. Though I feel for the investors that operate legal, residential STVR, they know the risk, as they have to renew each year. Keeping tourists in the designated zones is a fair compromise.

      1. I’m sorry, but 20 years isn’t that long to be coming back and forth. Try living here for 20 years. Out economy is tanking. So many business have shut down for good. Not everyone is a real estate investor. A large percent of our population works in the tourism industry or own small business. Either we open up now or we will suffer a slow, miserable monetary death.

  8. Quarantining rhe first 3 days of a 7 day trip would certainly prevent almost all visitors from coming.
    I have a question I have not seen addressed: does quarantine preclude getting food? Is a grocery store stop allowed? Room service is hardiy universal, not to mention expensive!

  9. Hawai’i your people are starving & businesses shutting down never to open again! CVS and Kaiser still don’t have testing set up for travelers. A private testing sight is $275 person and now you want us to quarantine for 3 days & retest! Face the inevitable you will have a spike once you reopen. Once the herding takes place it’ll balance out. Protect your elderly & vulnerable by wearing mask & no large gatherings. We won’t come if any quarantine is in effect!

  10. Great comment. I’m nearly at that point. I will pre test, test in the middle, wear a mask everywhere including the shower if you just let me come. My trip will cost me over $8000! So much revenue the island is losing. If I’m forced to cancel again I’m heading to Tahiti.



  11. It feels as if your site is consistently promoting the idea that travel will most likely not be allowed. It’s very disappointing and not very helpful. I just read this this morning.

    From the Hawaii State Department of Health: 10-3-2020

    If you have just a layover in Honolulu then the negative test result is good through to your final destination. If your break in Honolulu is more than a layover, then you are captured by the interisland quarantine.



    1. Thank you! That is the information I’ve been looking for. Let’s hope they don’t change their minds.

  12. open, open open, we don’t shut down for the flu. They know a lot more about covid they did 3 months ago!

  13. Why would a pre-arrival test be needed if a 3-day quarantine on arrival and a 2nd test be required? Where scientifically does the 3 day derive from?

  14. Gov. Ige just needs to ask for federal help to increase testing capability so you can open up and protect Hawaii’s tourism business. This impacts the lively hood of the the whole state.
    I have a $6000 vacation rental booked and can’t wait to use it – but I’m not going quarantine 3 days if I test negative within 72hrs of arrival – that just wrecks all our plans for 50% of the trip.
    -John from Wisconsin

  15. Figure it out! Should you come to Hawaii or not! You decided on a test 72 hours before. Is that the plan or not?

  16. Thanks for this info. We have been hoping to spend our 50th Anniversary in Kauai next spring. I am continuing to monitor the situation before finalizing any plan. We don’t have funds to spend our trip in quarantine. This is helpful.

  17. Very disappointed in our states policy. They’ve had months to work this out. If masks and social distancing work, then an initial test before arriving should be enough. This new policy will kill tourism and the virus is not going away. They are effectively shutting down tourism for another year. Can we survive? I don’t think so. We are the only state suffering like this. Please open up tourism!

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