HONOLULU (AP) — The island of Kauai in Hawaii has rejoined the state's Safe Travels program, which means out-of-state visitors can skip quarantining if they test negative for the coronavirus up to 72 hours before their flight.
As of Monday, travelers to Kauai were allowed to bypass a 10-day quarantine by presenting pre-travel negative coronavirus tests, Hawaii News Now reported.
The county had opted out of the program in December because of the global rise in virus infection cases.
“We are now in a much better place today to have travelers coming in, and I think as more vaccines get out, generally speaking, the entire world will be in a better place,” Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said.
The island since December welcomed back some interisland travelers and adopted “resort bubbles."
The county’s resort bubble program, or Enhanced Movement Quarantine, allowed visitors to travel to Kauai if they got two negative COVID-19 tests and spent three days either on another island or at a county-approved resort property. If they stayed at one of the resorts, they wore monitoring devices but could roam the resorts' grounds and use amenities.
Kawakami said rejoining the Safe Travels program will help buoy local businesses that struggled because of the public health restrictions.
Kauai visitors will also receive discount cards for local businesses if they voluntarily take coronavirus tests three days after arriving in addition to their required test before travel.
The discount cards will feature QR codes that link to a site with discounts and incentives offered by local Kauai businesses. About 60 Kauai businesses, hotels and restaurants are participating.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, breathing trouble, sore throat, muscle pain and loss of taste or smell. Most people develop only mild symptoms.
But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia. Sometimes people with a coronavirus infection display no symptoms.