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Hawaii approves the potential use of 'resort bubbles' for quarantined travelers

Sept. 16, 2020
4 min read
Hawaii approves the potential use of 'resort bubbles' for quarantined travelers
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Hotel stays in 2020 look a lot different than they did in years prior. Now, we’re starting to see resorts conduct contactless check-ins, scaled-back room service and mandatory quarantine in some countries in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

But now, Hawaii is taking it a step further, by signing off on “resort bubbles” that would allow guests at some hotels to leave their rooms -- if they agree to wear a GPS monitor.

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Kaua’i Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami announced an “Enhanced Movement Quarantine,” or “Resort Bubble,” program approved by Gov. David Ige. The program would permit visitors to leave their rooms to experience amenities at their hotel or resort during the mandatory quarantine period.

Under the current quarantine guidelines in Hawaii, guests entering the Aloha State are not allowed to leave their hotel rooms for 14 days, even with a negative COVID-19 test. Under the new rule, guests would be allowed to visit restaurants or pools while wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Guests would be required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet that uses a technology called geofencing that would track their movement.

Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Timur Alexandrov/EyeEm/Getty Images)

According to Hawaii’s Department of Health, the “Resort Bubble” concept is a voluntary program for resorts and visitors coming to the state and is not the “final solution.”

“We understand the need to address the economic hardship facing our tourism-based community, while also preserving the safety of our residents,” Mayor Kawakami said in a statement.

“The Resort Bubble program is an added tool to reopening our economy while we learn to co-exist with this virus. It’s not a replacement or the final solution, and we will continue to keep our community updated as we make progress,” he continued.

However, this announcement doesn't mean all the big resorts in Kauai are ready to reopen in a bubble. According to The Garden Island, Dan King, the General Manager of the popular Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort has indicated that -- at least for now -- the property does not plan to reopen until the 14-day quarantine is lifted.

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Related: What are the state quarantines really like?

But if you think you’ll be able to stretch the rules within the resorts that may operate as bubbles, think again. Rule-breakers who break quarantine or tamper with the bracelet will immediately be flagged by hotel security and police will respond. According to Hawaii News Now, guests who break the rules face a $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

As we’ve reported for months, several states in the U.S. have imposed two-week quarantines on anyone arriving from hard-hit areas in the United States in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. These states initially included Alaska and Hawaii. Both geographically isolated states have announced plans for entry without quarantine for those with a negative COVID-19 test, but while Alaska has implemented that plan, Hawaii has had to delay its reopening plans multiple times due to rising coronavirus cases in the state.

Hawaii has pushed back its reopening date to at least Oct. 1 and has recorded over 10,000 cases of the novel coronavirus and 100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Featured image by (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
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    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees