Kauai Island offers “Resort Bubble” to visitors during 14-day quarantine

(FILE) Shipwreck Beach on the south side of Kauai Island. (Photo by Mark Angelo Abalos)

HONOLULU (Eagle News) – Hawaii Governor David Ige signed on Tuesday Kauai County’s Enhanced Movement Quarantine program, which would permit visitors to leave their hotel rooms and utilize amenities within the resort’s property during their mandatory quarantine period.

As the first of its kind implemented in the Aloha State, this “Resort Bubble” concept is a voluntary program for both the resort facility and visitors residing there.

“We understand the need to address the economic hardship facing our tourism-based community while also preserving the safety of our residents,” said County Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami.  “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.”

In order to participate, resorts must establish security and enforcement policies to protect the safety of both guests and employees of the resort.  Security and enforcement are the responsibility of the resort, and all rules, such as mask wearing and physical distancing, must be followed.

Visitors who wish to stay at an Enhanced Movement Quarantine-designated resort must agree to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet that is tracked by the resort.  Within established limits, they can utilize the entire resort property, including on-site pools and restaurants.

If the monitoring unit is tampered with or the visitor leaves the resort property, hotel security will notify the Kauai Police Department for enforcement.  Any person violating any rule of the governor or mayor, if convicted, could face a fine of up to $5,000 or serve up to a year in jail, or both.

Several Kauai hotels have expressed interest in participating in the program. No launch date has yet been determined as stakeholder discussions are ongoing.  Updates on the Enhanced Movement Quarantine, or “Resort Bubble,” program will be announced as more information becomes available.

Information on Kawakami’s emergency rules and updates on Kauai’s coronavirus response are available on the Kauai Emergency Management Agency website  www.kauai.gov/COVID-19.

(With reports from EBC Hawaii Bureau, Eagle News Service)