Hawaii COVID-19 'Resort Bubble' Program
What we know about Hawaii's potential program for quarantined visitors
Last Updated: September 19, 2020, at 12 pm HST
Kauai has received approval to create 'Resort Bubbles'
Visiting Hawaii in 2020 is obviously a lot different than years prior. With 14-day quarantine travel restrictions in place for all arriving travelers since late March, attempting to visiting Hawaii has been filled with challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. But there may be some new good news for visitors planning to arrive before the quarantine period is lifted entirely; tentatively set for October 15, 2020. Kauai's Mayor recently announced an "Enhanced Movement Quarantine," or "Resort Bubble," program approved by Hawaii Gov. David Ige. This new program would permit visitors to leave their hotel rooms to partake in the amenities at their hotel or resort during the (14-day) mandatory quarantine period, but with a catch - you have to be willing to wear a GPS monitor of some kind.
Kauai is the first county to get Governor Ige’s approval on a resort bubble plan. If additional Hawaii counties are able to follow suit, it could potentially allow for the limited reopening of Hawaii leisure tourism, which has collapsed amid COVID-19 fears and tourism lockdowns.
Current Quarantine Guidelines
Under Hawaii's current quarantine guidelines, as noted above, all travelers entering the state are not allowed to leave their hotel rooms for 14 days, even if they can present a negative COVID-19 test result. See our Hawaii Travel Updates page for more information.
Potential 'Resort Bubbles' Program Quarantine Changes
Under the new rules, visitors to Hawaii would be allowed to dine at resort/hotel restaurants or visit the properties pool while wearing a mask & practicing social distancing. All visitors would be required to wear an electronic monitoring (GPS) bracelet that utilizes a technology called geofencing. This technology would assist in tracking their movement to ensure they do not leave the hotel/resort premises during the 14-day quarantine period.
Kauai's Mayor told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on 9/15/20 that, "the county has not set a date for when a resort bubble might open but that 'several hotels had expressed interest.'” Details, at this point, are still far from being finalized, but the order requires that participating resorts must establish security and enforcement policies to protect the safety of guests and employees. We've received information that some hotels may begin participating in this program as soon as October 1st.
We will continue to monitor this program for developments and post them on this page, including via the program information below, accordingly.
Hawaii 'Resort Bubble' Program Information
Voluntary Program - Not All Hotel Properties are Participating
According to the Hawaii 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." Visitors should be aware that not all hotels and resorts are expected to participate. For example, the General Manager of the popular Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort has indicated that at least initially and for the time being, the Kauai property does not plan to reopen until the 14-day quarantine is entirely lifted.
Kauai Mayor Kawakami recently said, "We understand the need to address the economic hardship facing our tourism-based community, while also preserving the safety of our residents," 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," the Mayor continued.
Violation of Resort Bubble Quarantine
Visitors should also remember that violation of the quarantine is a misdemeanor and punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. Enforcement will be handled by each of Hawaii’s four counties.
Rule-breakers who break quarantine or tamper with the 'resort bubble' bracelet will immediately be flagged by hotel security and police will respond.
More information on this new program is forthcoming as details are finalized. We will continue to post updates on this page.
Hawaii COVID-19 Information & Resources
Information Disclaimer: Details and information on this page, including dates, may change on a day-by-day basis. While we will be making every effort to keep these pages relevant and up to date, the decision to travel is ultimately your own responsibility. Please travel safely and keep an eye on our Special Alerts page for more information regarding COVID-19 and re-opening in Hawaii.