No Covid-19 restrictions on travelers have been more erratic than Hawaii’s. The state’s planned re-opening date got shared and then pushed back several times. Communication around what tests would be accepted to avoid quarantine was poor. Even the state itself has gotten this wrong, sending a family into quarantine even with proper negative tests.
The island of Kauai even opted out of testing to avoid quarantine entirely after first re-opening with tests. Only their quarantine on arrival was 10 days, not 14.
As of Tuesday December 22, there were 6 known cases of Covdi-19 on the island, and one hospitalization. And on that day restrictions were extended to February 20, 2021. Yet then on Wednesday Kauai’s Mayor was again requesting the Governor’s permission to allow visitors with the state’s pre-travel testing followed by a four day quarantine and release after a second negative test.
What is apparently being proposed now is that in addition to the current pre-travel testing requirement, Kauai visitors enter quarantine at an approved quarantine hotel for the first three nights after arrival. We were told that “If you get a second negative test on fourth day after arrival, they’re out of quarantine.” If this sounds familiar, Kauai previously proposed a similar quarantine followed by second test, that was disallowed by the governor.
The spokesperson said that this could be approved as soon as today, and if so, it would take effect on January 5.
Kauai south shore, credit: Reesed1999 via Wikimedia Commons
Any quarantine will keep people away, and the Kauai proposal would require quarantine in hotels and would exclude vacation rentals.
As I’ve written several times the biggest challenge to travel is regime uncertainty, the constant changing of rules. Travelers can’t make plans when they don’t know whether they’ll be able to travel or what rules will apply if they do. And it’s not just the rules of their destination, what rules will apply to their return home as well? Will they be required to quarantine in both directions?
(HT: Jonathan W.)