The Big Island of Hawaii Will Keep Its Mandatory 14-Day Quarantine for All Arrivals, opting out of Hawaii's coronavirus pre-test program that allows visitors to skip quarantine. Earlier this week, Hawaii Governor Ige gave county mayors the choice to opt out of the state's pre-test program. He also denied Kauai's 72-hour quarantine and second COVID-19 test proposal. Lieutenant Governor Green pointed out that currently only 57% of people on the Big Island are wearing masks, while 68% of people on Kauai are wearing masks, and increasing mask wearing and social distancing among locals is far more important to stopping the spread of COVID-19 than insisting on a second COVID-19 test for visitors who have already received a negative COVID-19 pre-test in the 72 hours prior to traveling to Hawaii.
The Big Island of Hawaii has recently experienced more community spread of the virus, with 43 new cases reported on Saturday 10/3/20. Hawaii Mayor Harry Kim told the Star Advertiser that “All of us want to open up our economy, (but) … the risk factor in regards to doing this at this time is not an acceptable risk as far as endangering Hawaii’s people.”
While all of the Hawaiian islands are dependent on tourism, the neighboring islands of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai and Lanai are even more dependent on tourism than Oahu, which makes the Big Island's plan to opt out especially challenging economically for the island. The major luxury resorts, all of them on the sunny Kona-Kohala coast, have already delayed their opening dates:
- Four Seasons Hualalai reopens 12/1/20
- Fairmont Orchid is scheduled to reopen 11/1/20
- Mauna Lani is scheduled to reopen 11/15/20
- Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is scheduled to reopen 11/1/20
Is Mayor Kim's Decision to Opt Out Definitive?
As of 10/7/20, no; through his chief of staff, Kim said a definitive decision is coming later this week. Kim stated “We need time to work out the logistics of administering a second test, but it will be worth it.”
If the 14-Day Quarantine Remains in Place, Is It Possible to Still Stay in a Vacation Home?
No, unless you own the home yourself. All others must quarantine for 14 days at a hotel first, before being permitted to rent a vacation home.
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