Kauai requests to rejoin Hawaii’s Safe Travels program

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Kauai is requesting to rejoin the state’s Safe Travels program for Trans-Pacific travelers.

Gov. David Ige must approve the proposed Emergency Rule 25 for it to be effective on April 5.

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Emergency Rule 25 would allow travelers to be exempt from Hawaii’s 10-day travel quarantine by participating in the state’s Safe Travels pre-travel testing program. It would also no longer be necessary for visitors to stay in a Resort Bubble or spend time on another Hawaiian island before traveling to Kauai in order to receive a quarantine exemption.

According to Kauai Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami, travel restrictions and the efforts of the community following guidelines have made the island one of the safest places during the pandemic.

“Over the past few months our community’s efforts have allowed us this opportunity to safely rejoin the state’s Safe Travels program,” Kawakami said in Tuesday’s news release. “At this time, more than 24,000 doses of vaccine have been administered on Kauai, and by April we are confident that employees in the hospitality and food service industries will be offered vaccines.”

Kawakami also added that case counts in the state and across the mainland are stabilizing, and if needed, local hospitals are prepared for a surge.

As an added safety measure, free COVID-19 testing is being at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The following Kauai hotels have committed to supporting post-travel testing to their guests: Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, The Cliffs at Princeville, The Club at Kukuiula, Timbers Kauai at Hokuala, Sheraton Kauai at Coconut Beach, The Point at Poipu, Hanalei Colony Resort, Koloa Landing Resort and Suite Paradise.

“While post-travel tests will not be mandatory, we are grateful to our visitor industry partners for going above and beyond to keep our community safe by encouraging their guests to take a test after arrival,” Kawakami said. “We have a number of Kauai properties already committed and we expect more to come online in the coming weeks.”

If Kauai’s proposal is approved, travelers could avoid quarantine by taking the following steps:

Proof of vaccination is not a recognized exemption to Hawaii’s travel quarantine. Visitors to Kauai are also not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, even if they received their first dose prior to their trip. Vaccine supply is for residents only.

Click here for more information about the Safe Travels program requirements.

Click here for more information on COVID-19 on Kauai and the travel rules.