Kauai and Maui Implement New COVID Rules: Why You Should Care

This week, Hawaii Governor Ige agreed to new COVID rules proposed by both Kauai and Maui County. While some changes aren’t directly applicable to visitors, others definitely are.

First up is the elimination of the tier system on Kauai.

On Wednesday, Ige approved the Kauai Mayor’s proposal to eliminate an antiquated, year-old, no longer relevant, and inflexible tier system. Mayor Kawakami said the tiered system “was created before vaccines were available, and also before the Delta variant became a real challenge.” This good news is based on increased vaccinations and reduced cases.

How relevant is this change to visitors? Kawakami said that for “people that are visiting Kauai — not much.”

The changes do not impact indoor mask rules or gathering limits, which remain at 10 indoors and 25 outdoors. Professionally organized events can have 40 indoors and up to 100 outdoors. Kawakami said that “checking for vaccination and/or negative test results” is required for events exceeding these limitations.

Maui updated the “Safer Outdoors” program and expanded restaurant hours.

Maui never had the tier system per se. However, they had guidelines that were just updated and go into effect on October 16, 2021. In that regard, Maui’s mayor said, “Are we out of the woods? Absolutely not, but we are getting closer.”

  • Social gatherings have been increased to a maximum of 10 indoors, 25 outdoors.
  • Bars and restaurants can now stay open until midnight.
  • Up to 10 guests are allowed per table.
  • Unvaccinated patrons with a negative COVID test within the past 48 hours can now dine indoors.

Lt. Governor Josh Green concurs with changes.

Green said, “I think the mayors have it right. They are gradually reducing the restrictions.”

21 thoughts on “Kauai and Maui Implement New COVID Rules: Why You Should Care”

  1. As a U.K. person who will be allowed to travel to the US from Nov 8. I’m looking at visiting Hawaii in December. I’m fully vaccinated in the U.K. but don’t think that counts. I see rules for transpacific visitors but not European visitors. Will I be allowed to fly to Hawaii? I’m considering Kauai as my destination. Thanks.

    1. Hi Ed.

      We too are awaiting clarification on that and expect news to be forthcoming soon.


  2. “Kawakami said that “checking for vaccination and/or negative test results” is required for events exceeding these limitations.”

    Maui – “Unvaccinated patrons with a negative COVID test within the past 48 hours can now dine indoors.”

    Got it…so, to summarize, still “Unvaccinated patrons” are the only ones who will Not be spreading the virus in restaurants on Kauai or Maui. How is this following the science? Right, it’s not. Welcome to the new form of segregation in Hawaii, everyone!

  3. I wanted too know about the no mask people walking into grocery stores how does it apply for myself and employees. Are we protected by any rights that we can tell the customers that they need too come in with a mask.And how store manager’s are not following protocol and telling the customers that they need too wear a mask before coming in the store. Instead they allow the customers too purchase groceries if they themselves as the manager do there transactions.And allowing refunds on mask😡

  4. And in related news,

    Captain Edward Smith of the RMS TITANIC directed the Chief Steward to change the tablecloths from white to blue for Sunday’s dinner meal.

  5. These new Covid measures on Maui are like Christmas, my birthday and the 4th of July all rolled into one glorious day! Our condo in Napili is calling us and we are hopeful to return to paradise ASAP! Allowing restaurants and bars to stay open later will please the late diners (like us) and help local business owners as well! Maui no ka oi! Awesome!!

  6. Mahalo for the info… I’m heading to Maui in January after 2 years away from Aloha land… way too long! I was vaccine hesitant for a while but decided to get the jabs and I feel relieved that I did. Makes traveling easier and I don’t have to be concerned about testing.

  7. “Unvaccinated patrons with a negative COVID test within the past 48 hours can now dine indoors.” Why is this even listed as a guideline? So, lets say I’m unvax and want to eat indoors somewhere … I now have to plan to get tested AND get results 2 days beforehand. Who would even think to plan for that? Basically, unvax’d folks cannot eat indoors. Period.

    1. Hang on! There is a simple an easy solution and it does cost anything! But you have to be on the know. Ask around, I am sure someone will be able to help you out.

    2. Basically, yes, unless you want to get a test.

      Remember how you used to be able to get on a plane without taking off your shoes and your belt, and then that rule changed? And when I was growing up the drinking age was 18, and then that changed. And people used to be able to smoke anywhere and everywhere, and then that changed. Notice a pattern?

  8. I am flying from AZ on 10-22-2021 to Kauai as I have for the past 20 plus years for a month. I have been vaccinate and had a booster Covid shot and my flu shot. I am still very nervous about what the Governor is going to require next of mainlanders. I lived on Oahu for many years and consider Hawaii where my heart and sole live and love

  9. Glad to hear the expanded hours to midnight on Maui. We were there 9/6-9/23 and closing time was 10, it sucked but hey it saved me some $$$!!

    1. BOH, Thanks for all the current information. Coming from TX to Maui 10/19. Happy that restaurants and bars can stay open till 12. For the 1st week we struggle to stay up till Maui Midnight (9 PM).

  10. Yaaaaassss! Cannot wait to visit in November. Feeling blessed to spend my 60th Birthday in my happy place. Mahalo Nui Loa


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