Want to Travel to Kauaʻi? Stay in a ‘Resort Bubble’

Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residences at Hōkūala is one of six Kauaʻi resorts participating in the island’s “resort bubble” program.
Full-service resort, like Princeville on Kauaʻi, could be part of a “resort bubble.” Photo: Getty Images

Starting on Dec. 2, all travelers to Kauaʻi—even those with negative COVID-19 tests—are required to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. Period.

It’s the only county in Hawaiʻi that opted out of the state’s pre-travel testing program, which, since Oct. 15, has allowed travelers with a negative COVID-19 test to bypass the mandatory two-week quarnatine.

But now Kauaʻi will start a pre- and post-travel testing program for visitors who stay in “resort bubble” hotels, an idea that was first proposed back in August 2020.

The new program will allow travelers to Kauaʻi who receive a negative pre-travel test and stay in an approved Enhanced Movement Quarantine (EMQ) “resort bubble” property to take a post-travel test three days after arrival and be released from quarantine with a negative post-travel test result. If visitors and residents decide to stay in non-EMQ hotels or at homes, they will be subjected to the full 10-day traveler quarantine without a post-travel testing opportunity and cannot leave their rooms.

So what does this mean?

If you’re traveling to Kauaʻi with a negative COVID-19 test and you’re staying in one of the six EMQ hotels (list below), you can enjoy resort amenities and visit the pool for the first three days of your vacation until you take a post-travel test. Once that shows you are COVID-free, you can leave the property and explore the island.

It’s a great compromise for those who want to visit the island, which has far fewer COVID-19 cases than any other county. (Currently, there have been 150 total cases on Kauaʻi, compared to 18,340 on Oʻahu and 1,926 on Hawaiʻi Island.)

To qualify, travelers must:

  • Take a pre-travel test within 72 hours before traveling to Kauaʻi and receive a negative test result.
  • Stay at an approved EMQ “resort bubble” property.
  • Take a post-travel test more than 72 hours after arriving on Kauaʻi and receive a negative result.

The current Enhanced Movement Quarantine (EMQ) “resort bubble” hotels on Kaua‘i are:

  • The Cliffs at Princeville
  • Hilton Garden Inn Kauaʻi Wailua Bay
  • Ko‘a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poʻipū
  • The Club at Kukui‘ula
  • Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residences at Hōkūala
  • Kauaʻi Marriott

For more information on the program, visit here.

Categories: Kauaʻi, News, Travel Safety