Kauai officially ending resort bubble experiment

Jul 7, 2021

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Kauai’s resort bubble is officially popped. Kauai will no longer require quarantine for visitors in a resort bubble. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami saying there is no longer a need since vaccine exemptions are going into effect.

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The major issued an amended emergency rule ending the program as the County of Kaua‘i enters “Tier 5” on Thursday, July 8. Hawaii is expected to reach 60% of residents vaccinated by this week.

Kauai airport (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Related: Everything you need to know about visiting a reopening Hawaii

Mayor Kawakami said, “As of Thursday, Tier 5 will allow gatherings of up to 75 people outdoors or 25 indoors. Restaurants, gyms, buses and attractions will be able to operate at 75 percent capacity.”

He said Tier 6 isn’t far behind, “Once Hawai‘i reaches 70 percent fully vaccinated, we will move to Tier 6 and eliminate all restrictions.”

Related: All inter-island restrictions lifted for Hawaii

The Hawaiian island had among the most restrictive COVID-19 restrictions of any of the Hawaiian Islands, as I reported back in January. In the early days of the pandemic, the island was off-limits to tourists altogether, but early this year, it instituted a mandatory 72-hour quarantine — just one of the requirements of the island’s then-new “resort bubble” concept.

Wearing a quarantine bracelet at Timbers Kauai as part of Kauai’s resort bubble program. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Related: I spent three days wearing a tracking bracelet as part of Kauai’s resort bubble

Kauai required a full 14-day quarantine before then since it decided not to participate in the state’s “test-out program.”

The program allowed tourists to book trips to one of six resorts on the island and stay in a “resort bubble” for three days before taking another COVID-19 test and then being released from quarantine.

Mayor Kawakami said, “The Resort Bubbles helped keep Kaua‘i safe from community spread of COVID-19 by isolating travelers until they could take a post-arrival test, as recommended by the CDC,” but he said the program is no longer needed.

If you are planning a trip, you can even get vaccinated in Kauai. Most pharmacies and clinics on the island are even accepting walk-ins. Visit kauai.gov/vaccine.

Related: Fair warning, Hawaii is crowded again

Visitors to Hawaii will still need to take the following steps (from the state of Hawaii):

  • Upload one of three vaccination documents to their Safe Travels Hawai‘i account prior to traveling to Hawaii. One of the following documents must be uploaded:
    • A CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card
    • VAMS (Vaccination Administration Management System) printout or
    • DOD DD Form 2766C
  • Sign the online legal attestations on Safe Travels Hawaiʻi, confirming the uploaded documentation is true and accurate.
  • Bring a hard copy of the vaccination documentation to show screeners at the gate prior to boarding and/or upon arrival in Hawaii. Screeners will review/verify the vaccination documents, match photo IDs, name and date of birth, as well as confirm that the attestations are signed.

We’ve covered the full list of what you need to know prior to visiting Hawaii here.

Featured photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.

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