HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gov. David Ige has approved Kauai’s request to rejoin the state’s Safe Travels program for Trans-Pacific travelers.

Emergency Rule 25 is effective on April 5, and existing rules for travel to Kauai remain in place until that date.

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“This emergency rule will simplify travel to Hawaii by including Kauai in the existing Safe Travels program,” Ige said in a news release on Friday, March 5. “The increased restrictions over the winter months helped Mayor Kawakami safely balance travel with the health and safety of residents and visitors on the Garden Island.”

Emergency Rule 25 would allow travelers to be exempt from Hawaii’s 10-day travel quarantine by participating in the state’s Safe Travels pre-travel testing program. It would also no longer be necessary for visitors to stay in a Resort Bubble or spend time on another Hawaiian island before traveling to Kauai in order to receive a quarantine exemption.

According to Kauai Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami, the county’s vaccine distribution has made him comfortable enough to opt back into the program.

“As far as vaccine distribution they have like all cylinders firing. They run very well organized we’re ahead of where we have forecasted,” Kawakami told KHON2 News.

Kawakami also added that case counts in the state and across the mainland are stabilizing, and if needed, local hospitals are prepared for a surge.

The state’s safe travels program started in mid-October. In December, Kawakami opted out, citing travel-related COVID-19 cases in the county, even though the Garden Isle only saw a 12% gain in visitor arrivals at that time.

Kawakami said the county now has enough data and testing to believe in the program.

As an added safety measure, free COVID-19 testing is being done at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The following Kauai hotels have also committed to supporting post-travel testing to their guests: Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, The Cliffs at Princeville, The Club at Kukuiula, Timbers Kauai at Hokuala, Sheraton Kauai at Coconut Beach, The Point at Poipu, Hanalei Colony Resort, Koloa Landing Resort and Suite Paradise.

Travelers heading to Kauai can avoid quarantine by taking the following steps:

Proof of vaccination is not a recognized exemption to Hawaii’s travel quarantine. Visitors to Kauai are also not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, even if they received their first dose prior to their trip. Vaccine supply is for residents only.

Click here for more information about the Safe Travels program requirements.

Click here for more information on COVID-19 on Kauai and the travel rules.