Hawaii Considering ‘Resort Bubbles’ to Let Tourists Enjoy Vacation While Quarantining

The concept would permit tourists under a quarantine order to move freely within a “geofence.”

Hawaiian islands are considering allowing visitors to roam freely within a “resort bubble,” according to reports after the state postponed its pre-testing COVID-19 program until September.

The concept has the backing of Hawaii Island, Maui, and Kauai and would permit tourists under a quarantine order to move freely within a “geofence,” West Hawaii Today reported.

“[It’s] another idea we’ve been tossing out there,” Hawaii County Managing Director Roy Takemoto said, according to West Hawaii Today. “They would be allowed to stay at selected resorts and the resorts would control where the visitors would be allowed to range.”

On Sept. 1, Hawaii plans to introduce the testing program that would allow people to avoid the quarantine if they bring a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival with them. Currently, intrastate travel between islands is allowed without the need for quarantine.

The program was initially slated to begin on Aug. 1 but was pushed back as elsewhere in the United States was seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

beach at the Four Seasons Hotel Hualalai
George Rose/Getty

While the concept of a bubble is being reviewed, West Hawaii Today notes specifics still need to be worked out, including guidance for things like restaurants and swimming pools. It would also largely depend on tourists volunteering to be monitored.

“It’s very early and it’s complicated. … All of us in the visitor industry support having a safe environment for our employees as well as our visitors,” Craig Anderson, the chairman of the Hawaii Island chapter of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association and vice president of operations at Mauna Kea Resort, said, according to the news organization.

“It’s another example of us all working with the [uncertainty] of this bizarre pandemic and how we create a new future for all of us,” he added.

In the meantime, visitors can explore Hawaii virtually, touring the lava tubes at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, or even plan an at-home luau with Mai Tai's aplenty.

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