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Will Maui Stray Next After Kauai Travel Gets Approved

Yesterday Hawaii’s governor approved the return of Kauai to Safe Travels effective April 5. Yet now, the table has turned, and Maui is intimating it may need to go in its own direction in terms of interisland travel.

Unifying rules for mainland and interisland travel is imperative to the return of visitors to the entire state. Travelers cannot be expected to adhere to different rules for each island, as you have been most clear about in thousands of comments.

The next important steps in the return of Hawaii travel are 1) acceptance of those vaccinated without additional testing requirements and 2) interisland travel without any restrictions. As you know, for those of us who live here and for Hawaii visitors, interisland travel is tantamount to our bus system. It is essential. Maui and the Big Island have required tests before arrival from another island, while Kauai has had its own rules. However, as it is now slated, it will have the same interisland requirements as Maui and the Big Island when the island returns to Safe Travels on April 5 unless something else changes, of course.

Maui now says it is not prepared for interisland travel without quarantine.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green, MD, has been vociferous in stating he wants restrictions lifted on interisland travel starting April 1. At present, only Honolulu does not require a negative COVID test within 72 hours of travel.

The mayors of Kauai, Big Island, and Oahu indicated concurrence this week that the time is now to eliminate interisland testing or quarantine requirements. And most importantly, it appears that the governor is ready to acquiesce on this issue.

But not so fast. Yesterday, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said he is not yet prepared to drop Maui’s interisland COVID test (or quarantine) requirement.

Ige held a phone meeting with the mayors yesterday to review the April 1 plan. The governor is looking for consensus from all islands to not get into another Kauai-style situation that arose last December when Kauai decided to no longer participate in the Safe Travels program.

Victorino said, “Our numbers do not indicate that we are ready to open up and drop the interisland quarantine. At this point, my answer is no.” He said he would continue to review the numbers and reassess the situation in two to three weeks.

Maui’s COVID positivity rate is the highest in Hawaii at about 2.5%, while the other islands are all at 1% or less.

Lt. Gov. and ER physician Green said that if Maui does not agree to the plan, the rest of the state might proceed without Maui. They could rejoin later, he said. We’ve seen from the Kauai experience just how poorly separate rules have played for Hawaii tourism.


73 thoughts on “Will Maui Stray Next After Kauai Travel Gets Approved”

  1. Anyone have a line on quick Covid testing on Maui right now? Scheduled to go to Kauai on the 7th but really hitting a road block.

  2. Question, what happens if you get a negative COVID test within 72 hours of your departure flight but the flight is delayed for some reason and you are now out of the 72 hour window? Will they take that into consideration? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Kurtis.

      Yes that will be fine. The rule is within 72 hours of the scheduled departure time.


  3. I certainly understand taking a Covid test but having to have the vaccine as a requirement to travel sounds like government control….There are those of us who will participate in this vaccine because of the long affects are not known…

  4. Basically, the Governor is slow walking any “vaccine passport” until maybe late summer. The vaccine passport is an immediate lifeline to the Hawaiian economy and not pursuing establishment of this by June 1st at the latest is malfeasance. There are thousands that will come to Hawaii (me included) with the “vaccine passport” THIS summer. I still refuse to gamble vacation deposits on a 72 hour perfectly timed covid test. I had hopes of Hawaii in August but sadly I am not confident and will spend my vacation dollars elsewhere.

  5. We want to have a family vacation on Maui but with 16 people and testing requirements, different rules for different islands it just isn’t practical. We will wait until a proof of vaccination will be all that is needed by then inter island travel should be ok also. Mahalo.

  6. Residents of Hawaii shouldn’t have to get tested to go from one county to another. This is ridiculous. Only in the State of Hawaii are mayors allowed such power by the governor. I am traveling round trip from Maui to Oahu later this month and I could almost get a Covid test in Maui before I leave to Oahu and back except I will be in Oahu for 4 days. Testing for this is stupid. I will have to get a Covid test the day after I get to Oahu which makes no sense.

  7. We have a trip planned to Maui from the mainland in May. No plans on island hopping. We will take our free test before we leave and be good to go. Hoping they remove the test requirements for vacinnated travelers coming tho by that time.

  8. My wife and I are considering coming to Hawaii for vacation. Been frustrating trying to figure things out. We have both been vaccinated and still get tested weekly through a State sponsored Lab in Ohio. Even though the lab handles testing for the state of Ohio they are not on Hawaii’s list of approved labs. Doesn’t make sense. We are considering other places to avoid the headache.

    1. Hey Fred

      Me and my family traveled from Ohio back in January. We all got tested at Walgreens. It only took about 2 hrs to get the results. You just make an appointment on their website and go to the drive thru window to get the test. Supper easy

      1. Thanks Todd. That’s great news. That’s what we will plan on doin. Did you have any trouble going between islands? Thanks Again for the help. Fred

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