For the 50+ Traveler

Beginning April 5, it’s a little easier to travel to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The island’s chamber of commerce now offers an enticing incentive for visitors willing to take a second COVID-19 test.

As part of Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program, visitors to Kauai who want to avoid a quarantine upon arrival must have a negative COVID-19 test before traveling to the island. As an incentive to increase public health, visitors who voluntarily take a second COVID-19 test three days after arrival will receive a discount card for local businesses.

“We wanted an additional layer of security in addition to what Safe Travels provides,” Mark Perriello, executive director of the Kauai Chamber of Commerce, said, an Associated Press story reports. “We’re getting as many businesses as possible to offer discounts and promotions to people who take the second test to give them more incentive in addition to just doing the right thing.”

Protecting Public Health

Last December, Kauai’s mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami asked Hawaii Governor David Ige for permission for the island to opt out of Hawaii’s Safe Travels program due to a rise in travel-related COVID-19 cases and Kauai’s limited resources.

Here’s how the rules worked: Tourists arriving in Kauai needed a 72-hour mandatory quarantine at a participating resort bubble until they provided a negative COVID-19 test result. Alternatively, they could stay for three days on a different island, then travel to Kauai after receiving a negative COVID-19 test result. The least appealing option was to undergo a 10-day quarantine.

Kawakami said that tourists will no longer need to stay in a resort bubble or spend time at another Hawaiian island first. They can skip Kauai’s required COVID-19 quarantine period because more than 24,000 doses of vaccine have been administered on Kauai.

“By April, the hospitality industry and restaurant employees, healthcare workers, first responders, and kupuna [senior citizens] have been fully vaccinated,” he continued.

How The Discount Card Works

The Kokua Kauai Card program is a joint partnership between the Kauai Chamber of Commerce, the Kauai Visitors Bureau, and the Kauai chapter of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, Hawaii Public Radio reports.

The card features a QR code, which links to a website listing the discounts and incentives offered by local Kauai businesses. About 77 Kauai businesses, hotels, and restaurants are participating in the program, Hawaii News Now reports.

Know Before You Go

To comply with Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program, travelers planning to visit Kauai must have a negative COVID-19 test result before they travel to Kauai. Anyone who doesn’t have a negative test result before their departure must quarantine in Kauai upon arrival.

There are two ways to manage the test results. The first option is to upload the negative test result into the Safe Travels system before departure. Alternatively, travelers can print their negative test result and then present the test result upon arrival. More Information about Hawaii’s Safe Travels and the process can be found here.

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