Updated 12/24/20, 11am. See latest changes below. We heard from a long-time friend who has been working in the Kauai County Emergency Operating Center on COVID issues. He said that they have been “Pushing the governor for weeks, and it looks like we may get a new rule in place.”
This is all changing so fast that it is hard to keep up with. As another friend here said, stop the roller coaster, I want to get off.
What is being proposed now is that in addition to the current pre-travel testing requirement, Kauai visitors enter quarantine at an approved quarantine hotel for the first three nights after arrival. We were told that “If you get a second negative test on fourth day after arrival, they’re out of quarantine.” If this sounds familiar, Kauai previously proposed a similar quarantine followed by second test, that was disallowed by the governor.
The spokesperson had said that this migh be approved as soon as 12/23, to take effect on January 5. But so far, there has been no approval forthcoming from the governor. We’ll let you know as soon as we learn more.
We responded with the following:
1. The governor previously said that he was not inclined to enable island-by-island rules associated with Safe Travels. That is how Ige appeared to interpret Kauai’s prior request of a similar nature. The governor intimated that you are either in or out of Safe Travels and that separate rules were just too confusing among other issues. Following the governors disapproval, Kauai’s request to opt-out entirely was approved. Would Ige change his mind on this and modify Safe Travel for Kauai? Or would there be a different program? We can’t say, but it wouldn’t entirely surprise us either. How confusing do you think this would be for Hawaii visitors?
2. Any quarantine is a non-starter for visitors. With the average Hawaii vacation being of 7-day duration, you have made clear in now perhaps thousands of comments that you would not be willing to be in quarantine, even until the 4th day. Is that still your feeling? Please let us know in the comments.
3. Vacations rentals are out in the cold. With the current rules in effect and what we were told is being proposed, visitors cannot stay in vacation rentals while in quarantine. This is a challenging situation for both visitors and vacation rental stakeholders, as you have also clearly indicated in the comments. Any further thoughts?
Latest changes from December 24.
1. The approved quarantine hotels and the lowest rates we found on checking in January are as follows:
The Cliffs at Princeville – No online availability. 14-night minimum indicated.
Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay – From $141 nightly.
Koa Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu – From $320 nightly.
The Club at Kukuiula – From $800 nightly.
Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residences at Hokuala – From $1,046 nightly.
Kauai Marriott Resort at Kalapaki Bay – From $271 nightly.
2. Visitors who choose to stay at non-approved hotels remain subject to the 10-day quarantine. Quarantine other than at hotels/motels is not permitted.
3. Residents are subject to a 10-day quarantine and can do so at their residence.
Great comments and questions are coming in.
Among s0 many thoughtful comments in the over 200 below, Margaret posed interesting questions:
– After quarantining for 3 days, would a visitor have to leave his/her hotel (or resort bubble) to get the on-island test?
– If visitors aren’t allowed to rent cars, how do they get to the testing site? Uber? Hotel shuttle bus? Or does the tester go to the quarantine location? Or would it be a self-administered test?
– What kind of test is planned? How long before the result would be known? If the plan is to release the visitor from quarantine on Day 4, it would have to be a rapid test.
– Will the test kits be whatever remains of the 15,000 rapid test kits Kauai purchased with CARES funds?
– Will the visitor be charged for the on-island test?
– How many people would be willing to go through this “short form” quarantine in a hotel or resort bubble? (This is the biggest question).