Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami announced on Wednesday, May 13, that a mandatory 14-day quarantine for arriving Kauai air passengers is extended through June 30 due Hawaii COVID-19 concerns, furthering the current Garden Isle travel ban.
The announcement comes as Kauai prepares to reopen public parks and beaches, with a number of restrictions, as part of a 2-week pilot project to best determine the safest way to reopen the Garden Isle and its tourism sector. Hawaii’s other county mayors and Governor David Ige also held today press conferences regarding reopening Hawaii and its tourism economy.
Kauai has implemented the strictest measures to contain COVID-19 of all Hawaii counties, with curfews and multiple arrests of visitors who have violated quarantine restrictions. Kauai reports zero active cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, May 13.
The 14-day quarantine Hawaii air travel requirement, the travel ban, is scheduled to be in place until the end of May. It is a harsh measure, one that Hawaii’s residents have undertaken voluntarily to protect each other. It has also halted air travel to the Aloha State, effectively bottoming-out tourist arrivals and the employment and revenue numbers it generates.
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The effect this has on the people of Hawaii prompts industry leaders and elected officials to explore ways to reopen the economy here. The approach thus far has been to open slowly, with guidelines and restrictions for various hotel, retail, and restaurant operations. These measures are meant to focus on Hawaii’s local economy. Our Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast has been advising visitors to wait to book Hawaii travel dates until after June.
Even as Kauai Mayor Kawakami extended mandatory quarantine for air arrivals, he and other mayors and elected officials are considering policies for reopening Hawaii tourism. US Representative Ed Case has reached out to the FAA about the possibility of pre-testing Hawaii-bound passengers for coronavirus. The state legislature is interested in providing tens of millions of dollars in funding for thermal testing of Hawaii arrivals.
It appears the mandatory quarantine will remain in place on Maui until, as Maui Mayor Victorino said, “we see zeros for two or three weeks”, meaning zero is the number of new COVID-19 cases.
The coronavirus global pandemic has had a brutal and what will certainly be a lasting impact on Hawaii tourism and our economy in the Aloha State. A lack of communication and effective, consistent messaging from federal, state, and county authorities beg many questions about when it will be possible to welcome thousands of arrivals daily to our shores.
The concept of “Travel with Aloha” has been offered by officials and experts to encourage Hawaii visitors to respect the concerns of island residents and workers regarding the spread of coronavirus. There are concerns that residents may demonstrate resentment toward visitors during a global pandemic. There is a long, lamentable history of pandemics in Hawaii. The Spirit of Aloha will prevail.
There are many ways to look at the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic and its effect on those of us that live, work, and vacation in Hawaii. Malls and retail stores are reopening. Restaurants are adapting to new requirements. We are creeping slowly toward what will surely be a new normal.
The COVID-19 situation in Hawaii changes quickly, and hopeful visitors are eager for information about when it will be safe and sensible to come to Hawaii for the safety, security, and serenity that the Aloha State offers.
Hawaii Aloha Travel is monitoring the situation by the hour, and we are here to help with your questions about when to book a Hawaii vacation. We are the experts, on the ground and eager to welcome you.