WAIKIKI, Hawaii (KHON2) — Park Shore Hotel and Waikiki Beachside are the latest to join the city’s list of available quarantine facilities as Hawaii continues to welcome back trans-Pacific travelers.
The city, in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), will offer 452 extra rooms to visitors needing to quarantine during their stay. This includes the leasing of 46 apartment units at the Waikiki Beachside.
Park Shore Hotel will also offer up to 221 rooms.
“We want to prepare for any possible increase in COVID-19 cases and to keep impacts controlled to ensure that the city can support the opening of businesses and the restart of the island economy,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
Additionally, the city stated that most hotel rooms would be paid for by CARES Act funding and provided at no cost to the patron unless otherwise decided on by the DOH.
“We want to efficiently budget expenditure of our CARES funds for maximum benefit to those that need assistance,” Mayor Caldwell shared. “We need to be ready, it’s our insurance policy. As we open to visitors and as we open schools up, and as we move into Tier 2, should we see an increase in the number of cases, we have a place to isolate.”
City CARES money is covering all related building expenses for both properties.
“Once the city opts for a buy-out or taking over a hotel, we won’t allow any other guests that are not part of the city program,” explained Highgate Hotels Vice President of Operations Hawaii Kelly Sanders.
Hotel workers have been trained and can opt to work at different Highgate Hotels if they don’t feel comfortable working at a quarantine facility.
The city now has 452 rooms available for residents to isolate and quarantine.
As for visitors in Waikiki–now that tourism has reopened–residents, including Mayor Caldwell, have noticed that some people are not wearing masks, or are unaware of COVID restrictions.
Mayor Caldwell said that everyone needs to follow the rules to keep case numbers low.
“I’m a little discouraged by the fact that our partners in the visitor industry haven’t started to educate visitors,” explained Mayor Caldwell.
He said he’ll speak with the visitor industry to make sure visitors are aware of local rules.
“Bring ready means being ready with the protocols, brochures for the airplane that says here are the rules to abide by, and here are the rules on Oahu and this is a special time that you’re traveling,” explained Mayor Caldwell.
For now, HPD will continue to issue warning to travelers unaware of local rules.
Watch the full news conference here: