Those who wish to travel to the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi may be glad to learn that the island has started a pre- and post-travel COVID-19 testing program for out-of-state visitors who stay in its “resort bubble” hotels.

This initiative comes as part of the new travel protocols for both inter-island and mainland travelers. Kauaʻi is the only county in Hawaiʻi to opt out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, which sees travelers with a negative COVID-19 test permitted to bypass the mandatory two-week quarantine.

Aerial View of Na Pali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii
Kauaʻi has introduced new travel protocols for both inter-island and mainland travelers © raisbeckfoto/Getty Images

The first protocol applies to travelers arriving to Kauaʻi from out of state, who receive a negative pre-travel test and stay in an approved Enhanced Movement Quarantine (EMQ) “resort bubble.” These visitors can take a post-travel test three days after arrival and will be released from quarantine if they obtain a negative result. If they decide to stay in non-EMQ hotels or other accommodation upon arrival, they cannot leave their rooms and will have to undergo Kauaʻi's full ten-day traveler quarantine without a post-travel testing opportunity.

The EMQ “resort bubble” hotels on Kaua‘i include the Cliffs at Princeville, Hilton Garden Inn Kaua‘i Wailua Bay, Ko‘a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poʻipū, The Club at Kukui‘ula, Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residences at Hōkūala and Kauaʻi Marriott. Travelers can enjoy resort amenities for the first three days, and once they receive a negative test result, they can leave the hotel and explore the island.

In the case of inter-island travel, those flying in from Oahu, Maui or the Big Island can avoid quarantine by taking the following steps. Having created a Safe Travels account and completed the mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health Form, they take an approved pre-travel test after they have been in Hawaii for more than three days, but within 72 hours of arriving on Kaua‘i. The negative test results are uploaded to the Safe Travels account, and travelers are also asked to present a hard copy of their result for review at Līhu‘e Airport. Further information can be found on the County of Kauaʻi website here.

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