Kaua‘i County reentering state Safe Travels program

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i is reentering the state’s Safe Travels program on Monday, April 5, and as the island prepares to welcome back more travelers, the County of Kaua‘i is also starting to reopen some doors and restructure some rules at the Lihu‘e Civic Center Kapule Building.

The Kapule Building houses the Finance and Planning departments and offices of Motor Vehicle Registration, Real Property Assessment Division, Real Property Tax Billing/Collection and others.

Beginning Monday, April 5, there will no longer be a requirement for customers to answer health- and travel-related questions when visiting the Kapule Building.

Customers will still be required to undergo a temperature check before entering the building, and social-distancing guidelines will be continue to be enforced. Masks will still be required for entry and service.

While some procedures are being rolled back for entrance into the Kapule Building, many departments and offices are still requiring online appointments to be booked for many services (see the information box).

All motor-vehicle services, for example, are available by appointment, which can only be booked online.

Road-test appointments, however, must be made via phone.

The county also encourages people to pay their vehicle registrations at kiosks located in the Lihu‘e and Waipouli Safeway, at Ishihara Market in Waimea, by mail, or via the drop lox located outside the Kapule Building.

Real-property assessment and billing/collections offices are open for walk-in services, with no appointments necessary.

The Planning Department also encourages booking appointments online for services, but is reopening its front counter for walk-in services with no appointments necessary starting Monday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays except county holidays.

There were seven active cases of COVID-19 on Kaua‘i Thursday, with all of those in isolation and no one hospitalized, according to the county. The state Department of Health reported four of those as new cases on Thursday.

Three of the new cases are residents who are household contacts of the two cases announced Wednesday, and are classified as travel-related. The fourth case is a female visitor whose source of infection is related to inter-island travel, and who was diagnosed off-island.

As of Thursday, the county reported administering more than 43,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Kaua‘i, and will be moving into the second phase of the vaccination program Monday. This means all residents ages 16 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines at clinics around the island.

Sixteen- and 17-year-olds are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine at this time. Appointments for 16- and 17-year-olds must be made at Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waimea, Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital in Kapa‘a or Wilcox Medical Center.

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved only for people 18 and older.

For those wishing to receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the DOH added an additional clinic date on Monday, April 5, at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihu‘e.

To sign up, complete the DOH Kaua‘i District Health Office survey at kauai.gov/vaccine. After completing the survey, applicants will receive instructions via email on how to schedule appointments.

Rejoining the state Safe Travels program allows those flying from out of state to avoid the 10-day quarantine if they follow the rules of the program, including taking a pre-travel test within 72 hours of leaving for Kaua‘i.

Some county offices reopening

LIHU‘E — Following are a few of the county offices reopening for in-person service:

• Motor vehicle registration: kauaimvr@kauai.gov, 241-4256; appointment required;

• Driver’s licensing: kauaidl@kauai.gov, 241-4242; appointment required;

• Real property assessment: rpassessment@kauai.gov, 241-4224; no appointment required;

• Real property collections: rpc@kauai.gov, 241-4272; no appointment required;

• Planning Department: planningdepartment@kauai.gov, 241-4050; no appointment required.

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Jessica Else, editor, can be reached at 245-0457 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

9 Comments
  1. Jamie Rainbow April 2, 2021 2:30 pm Reply

    Maui County is seeking to be a part of a vaccine passport pilot program that officials say could be a golden ticket for Hawaii residents and visitors to travel safely and more easily. Kauai should be part of this?


  2. John April 2, 2021 2:33 pm Reply

    The fact that they are letting in a literal horde of infected virus-zombie-tourists before Kauai is totally vaccinated is just so WTF!?!

    I mean, we were SO close, and within one or two more months our little island would have been 99% vaccinated.

    But Kawakami and his corporate donors in Big Tourism and Big Airline just had to get that extra revenue into their pockets.

    Disaster countdown in 5…4…3…


  3. Mel April 2, 2021 9:14 pm Reply

    Too late.
    Big Island is booming. Kauai will get crumbs


  4. Paul F Sammons Jr April 3, 2021 5:13 am Reply

    A problem with the 72-hour testing requirement pre-travel to Kauai because of travel around the July 4th Holiday. The only approved source of the testing here is CVS, which doesn’t offer testing July 4 & 5th. We have a 6-hour flight that departs on July 6th and a rental reserved for that date. We’d also like to rent a car. Suggestions?


    1. Ahh April 3, 2021 2:11 pm Reply

      Good luck and say a prayer. The rental car companies are gouging as well as other places that will need to recoup revenue from being closed so long. Plus the devalued currency


    2. Designer April 3, 2021 5:36 pm Reply

      Oh noes! Is our pre-testing requirement making your life hard? Here’s a suggestion: don’t vacation in the middle of a pandemic. It’s grotesquely selfish and self-absorbed.


  5. Designer April 3, 2021 5:32 pm Reply

    I think “welcome” is the wrong word, when these travelers are being dumped on us with an inadequate pre-testing programming that has already led to community spread and a death.

    Meanwhile, the most vulnerable among us, including HIV patients, people with kidney damage and more can’t even START getting the vaccines until the day after we reenter the so-called-safe Travels program, which means they’re going to at minimum have six weeks of huddling in their homes, praying for their lives.

    So, no, we shouldn’t “welcome” these COVID vacationers who are selfishly vacationing in violation of CDC guidelines and in violation of community morals.

    Did Mayor Kawakami think we were done? Why in the world would he end our safety when we were SO close?


    1. Reader April 4, 2021 12:05 pm Reply

      I believe the County press release which originally announced Kauai’s re-entry into “Safe” Travels Program answer’s the question that Designer asks above. Kawakami justified the early move by stating that those who work in the tourist industry will have gotten shots in the arm by 5 April. Sorry to say the large group of 1C, including the vulnerable you mention, didn’t factor into Kawakami’s calculus. Put another way, Designer, you and the vulnerable don’t matter to Kauai unless you support tourism. I agree it’s very disheartening. I’m sure that press release is still on County of Kauai website.


  6. Mel April 4, 2021 5:34 pm Reply

    Maybe Zuckerberg can just buy the whole island, like Larry Ellison did with Lanai. Then you will never have to have any visitors again


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