Kauai County moves forward with ‘Resort Bubble’; what it could look like

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Kauai county announced Tuesday that Gov. David Ige authorized Emergency Rule 16, which allows for the Enhanced Movement Quarantine, also known as the “Resort Bubble” program.  

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This would allow visitors to spend their 14-day quarantine within a resort area instead of inside their hotel room.

Timbers Kauai, Hokuala Resort is one of the resorts working with Kauai County to set up the resort bubble at their property. Gary Moore, Hokuala Resort managing director said this will allow visitors the chance to enjoy the full 450 acres of their property.

“We have a golf course,” said Moore. “We have an organic farm. We have trails, hiking, biking. We have a pool. There’s a lot of things for people to do.”

However, guests will have to follow the rules.

Guests at Timbers Kauai, Hokuala Resort will be briefed before they arrive on the protocols in place, which include wearing a monitoring bracelet while on the resort, social distancing and wearing masks.

Although not required by the county, the resort will be asking guests to show a negative COVID-19 test taken at least 72 hours before arriving. The hotel will also require temperature checks daily for seven days after a guest arrives.

In order to participate in the program, resorts must implement policies and procedures like these. However, policies and procedures will differ depending on the resort.

“The hotel has to have the process and measures in place to ensure that guidelines are being complied with,” said Kawakami. “We have to have the confidence that they have the ability to keep the island safe and continue to operate under these guidelines.”

If someone in quarantine leaves the resort, they could face a $5,000 fine, spend a year in jail or both.

Kawakami said the county will be checking in with the different resorts under the program daily.

“We have people that are on resort properties every single day to ensure that the existing guidelines are being enforced upon,” said Kawakami.

As to how much it will cost guests, Moore said it is $80 for the Aqua monitoring bracelet.

“We’re probably going to be living with this in the foreseeable future,” said Moore. “We have to find a way. We have to find a way to coexist with it, be smart, be prudent with all of the measures.”

Moore said if everything works out, they will also be able to rehire more staff.

“We’re optimistic that with that we can maintain [workers] and hopefully, we get back up to 65, 75, 85 occupancy,” said Moore.

Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said while there is no set date as to when the program will start, the “Resort Bubble” program could work with the inter-island quarantine and transpacific quarantine.

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