Today Kauai has rejoined Hawaii travel and the State of Hawaii’s Safe Travels program. What that means and what you need to know is below. Kauai is one of the more vaccinated places in the US. To date, more than 45,000 people on Kauai have received at least one dose. Kauai has also maintained one of the lowest infection rates in the country.
How Hawaii Safe Travels works.
All arriving passengers to Kauai and the other islands must have proof of a negative COVID test, from a state-approved vendor, taken within 72 hours before departing the US mainland. You can see all the details in our UPDATED Guide to 2021 Hawaii Travel During COVID.
Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said, “We are now in a much better place today to have travelers coming in, and I think as more vaccines get out, generally speaking, the entire world will be in a better place.”
Since December, the county of Kauai has been virtually shut down to travel. Until today, the only options were 10-day quarantine, a 3+ night Kauai resort bubble stay, or testing on a neighbor island within 72 hours before travel to Kauai. Now, all that has changed. The resort bubble also allowed for testing from non-approved vendors, which added yet another confusing element to the plan.
Together with the reopening of the island, direct flights are resuming, and long-shuttered hotels are reopening.
Kauai Kokua Card Visitor Incentives.
Kauai has announced an incentive for visitors who would like to receive discounts or other incentives from vendors in exchange for taking a second optional test after arrival on Kauai. Their website was to be active as of today but has not yet launched, apparently. It is a partnership between the Kauai Chamber of Commerce, the Visitor Bureau, and the Hawaii Lodging Association. The idea is to get as many local companies as possible to provide discounts and promotions to those travelers taking a second optional test.
“Kauai County is encouraging travelers to take a voluntary post-travel COVID 19 test three days after arriving to the Garden Island.”
The Chamber of Commerce said, “The Kokua Kauai Card will feature a QR Code that will link to a webpage, which will feature the various discounts and incentive packages offered by Kauai-based businesses.” It is believed that more than 50 businesses, including hotels and restaurants, have already indicated they will take part.
AlohaSafe Alert App is also “recommended.”
Kauai also now suggests using the AlohaSafe Alert app, which we wrote about back in January. At that time, it was made mandatory for those arriving on Maui. As far as we can determine, that will remain optional on Kauai, however.
Governor Ige previously approved the contact tracing requirement for all travelers from both the mainland and interisland to Maui.
Contact tracing apps remain controversial.
Last year the Brookings Institute said, “We worry that contact-tracing apps will serve as vehicles for abuse and disinformation.” In hundreds of comments, what you said was tantamount to the same thing.
Please let us know your thoughts about 2nd optional tests and using Kauai’s contact tracing app.