The island of Kauai alters its travel rules

Published on : Thursday, January 7, 2021

The island of Kauai is all prepared to reopen its borders to tourists after a temporary stop forced by the pandemic. However, the financial recovery in the tourism industry could be sluggish.

Kauai had selected not of the take part in the state program that allows trans-Pacific visitors, if they provide a negative test before coming to the island, and this island on Hawaii had requested all travelers to undergo 10-day quarantine.

On Tuesday, Kauai is set to start its own entry program. Travelers can saty away from quarantine, if they go to another Hawaii Island with the pre-arrival testing program and hang around for three days before coming to Kauai.

Allowing travelers to quarantine for three days instead of 10 would be the second option.

Kauai County explained that travelers could be freed from quarantine, if they’re tested before entering the island, quarantine for three days at a “resort bubble” property and then get a second test that comes back negative. Six resorts are formally labeled Enhanced Movement Quarantine hotels. Here, visitors are permitted to leave their rooms, if they remain on the property.

“To the extent that they can experience the rest of the island after three days, they’ll be more likely to come,” said Richard Albrecht, president of The Club at Kukuiula, one of the bubble properties. Participants will have to wear tracking bracelets.

“And if they’re off property, that shows that they’re red. And then we get on the phone, we call and try and figure out where they are,” Albrecht said.

Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association CEO Mufi Hannemann have mentioned that the hotel industry of Kauai is not hoping enough business for the hotels which have closed down, like the Grand Hyatt or the Sheraton Kauai to immediately reopen.

“I continue to hear from Kauai’s small-business community that the changes aren’t working and that these latest tweaks won’t make enough difference,” Hannemann said.

Keith Vieira, principal of KV & Associates, Hospitality Consulting LLC, have stated that Hawaii tourism is in a “booking malaise” that is probably to continue until travel rules are clarified.

“The Kauai situation doesn’t just harm Kauai, it harms tourism across the state. People don’t understand the geography, and they worry that the rules are going to keep changing,” Vieira said.

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