Three Hawaiian islands could implement “resort bubbles” so that vacationers can still enjoy their time off while they wait out the mandatory 14-day quarantine that’s required for all arrivals to the state. Selected resorts on the Big Island, Kauaʻi and Maui would be “geofenced,” allowing guests to venture outside and around their accommodations but ensuring they don’t leave the property. Visitors’ locations would be tracked to be sure that they remain within the confines of the resort.

These “resort bubbles” are still in the idea stage, and it’s not clear whether they will be implemented. Their success depends on visitors who are willing to be monitored and whether communal spaces, such as dinings areas, pools and shops, would be divided between those in quarantine and those who aren’t – or whether some hotels would be designated strictly for those under quarantine. 

Hawaii plans 'resort bubbles' fro quarantining purposes
Hikers on the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai © Alexander Howard/Lonely Planet

The state of Hawaii says it’s looking to introduce a COVID-19 screening test by September 1 so that visitors who are tested 72 hours before traveling won’t have to quarantine. These new measures were supposed to be in place by August 1, but a surge in cases and issues with getting timely test results have postponed the start date.

Some hotels in Hawaii had already come up with a unique way of enforcing quarantine, by giving guests a single-use check in key that will not work if they leave the room and then try to get back in

Hawaii may implement 'resort bubbles' for quarantining visitors
Sunset on Maui © JBetts/Budget Travel

Hawaii, an archipelago of islands in the Pacific Ocean some 2500 miles from the USA’s west coast, implemented some of the earliest and strictest coronavirus policies in the country, with the state’s governor declaring that all visitors and returning residents must quarantine from March 21. People who break quarantine rules can be arrested and fined up to $5000, and almost 200 violators have been caught and arrested in the last four months.

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