Kauai Opts Out of Hawaii Safe Travels Program

Kauai May Opt Out of Hawaii Safe Travels Program

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Updated 11/28/20: Governor Ige has approved Kauai's request to opt out of Hawaii's pre-travel testing program.

Kauai is Opting Out of the Hawaii Safe Travels Program effective Wednesday, December 2, 2020, according to Governor Ige's press release. This means that all arrivals to Kauai, both tourists and returning residents, will be forced to quarantine for 14 days, even if they have tested negative for COVID-19. This is for both trans-pacific and inter-island travel. Ige cited the fact that Kauai county has the fewest number of ICU hospital beds in the state of Hawaii. Kauai Mayor Kawakami noted that COVID-19 infections resulting from travel are leading to community spread, and said he would “gladly repeal the moratorium once we have the virus under control again.”

As of November 24, Hawaii requires a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding the flight to Hawaii in order to avoid quarantine. Previously, it was possible for travelers who had taken a COVID test in the 72 hours prior to departing for Hawaii but not yet received their test results to go to their lodging and quarantine until they received their negative results, then upload them to the Hawaii Safe Travels Web site and be released from quarantine.

Kawakami acknowledges that it's not just tourists: “Nearly half of our recent travel cases are Kauai residents who returned home. We know that a single, pre-travel test has not stopped the virus from reaching our island and we are saddened to report our first on-island death.”

Since the pre-travel testing program launched on October 15, 2020, Kauai has confirmed 58 new COVID-19 cases. 27 of these are visitors, 21 are returning residents, and the remaining 10 cases are Kauai residents who have no travel history, contracting COVID from community spread.

Will you or someone you know have to change Hawaii travel plans due to Kauai opting out of the Hawaii Safe Travels program?

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