County rejoins state’s Safe Travels

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Alaska Airlines agents Happy Taito, Stacy McKee, and Chailan Kanahele check on arriving passengers from Seattle, Monday afternoon at the Lihu‘e Airport.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Some of the 149 passengers arriving from Seattle, Washington aboard an Alaska Airlines flight wait for their baggage, Monday at the Lihu‘e Airport.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Arriving passengers wait for their rides outside the Baggage Claim area at the Lihu‘e Airport, Monday afternoon.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Arriving passengers from Los Angeles Diana, Andrew, and Dylan McDonald wait on their rent-a-car shuttle, Monday at the Lihu‘e Airport.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Arriving passenger from Seattle Margy Dunn speaks with Happy Taito of Alaska Airlines on the Pre Check wristband that facilitated her trip, Monday while other passengers wait for baggage at the Lihu‘e Airport.

LIHU‘E — As of Monday afternoon, the state’s Safe Travels dashboard showed about 30,066 arrivals into the state yesterday, with about 3,871 registered trips to Kaua‘i.

Just last Monday, the county saw 1,064 arrivals screened.

Kaua‘i re-entered the state’s Safe Travels program for Trans-Pacific travelers, meaning both out-of-state and inter-island fliers can bypass the 10-day travel quarantine by providing a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departing to Kaua‘i.

And airlines are ramping up service to the island.

Trans-Pacific flights jumped from three to eight starting yesterday, Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau Executive Director Sue Kanoho said Monday. That includes additional flights from Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest.

“We saw an increase in arrivals during spring break utilizing the resort bubbles and expect to see an increase in arrivals starting (yesterday),” Kanoho said.

Monday, Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman warned that while travel is opening, signaling a boost to the economy, there are still risks out there.

“We are re-entering the state’s Safe Travels Program for out-of-state travelers,” Berreman said. “This is good news in terms of employment and income for many residents, and it also means more risk of disease. So in the coming days and weeks it is especially important that we continue to follow safe practice.”

Last week, the county did see an increase in travel-related cases, Berreman said during the county’s Team Kaua‘i COVID-19 Briefing.

“All of these cases are travel related, with six cases in one household related to inter-island travel by residents,” Berreman said. “The number of close contacts is quite large — more than 35 close contacts are subject to 10-day Department of Health quarantine.”

Some of these close contacts had received at least one of two vaccinate dosages, and “few were fully vaccinated and not subject to quarantine,” Berreman said. A full vaccination will allow residents to not have to quarantine should they be a close contact.

“Many close contacts had not yet completed their vaccinations, so are subject to DOH quarantine,” Berreman said. “In the future, more and more close contacts will have been fully vaccinated. In that case, the Department of Health just gives them a call to let them know to self-monitor. Their activities are not restricted at all.”

Monday afternoon, Gov. David Ige discussed two digital health applications, Clear and CommonPass, that are currently piloting “vaccine passports.

The program would allow fully vaccinated individuals to travel without testing and restrictions.

“They’re both piloting validation of PCR testing and they are seeing good results,” Ige said. “Both have committed to including vaccination data into their platforms when available. It’s going to take some time but these companies are at the forefront of verifying vaccination status.”

  1. John April 6, 2021 8:23 am Reply

    Yay! Infected virus-zombie tourists!

    1. Designer April 6, 2021 11:20 am Reply

      I don’t think there’s any indication that they’re zombies, just overly privileged jerks who think their right to a vacation is more important than other peoples’ right to not die from COVID.

      They don’t care about our community, and we should respond accordingly when we see them.

      1. JB April 6, 2021 1:02 pm Reply

        It’s well within your rights to shelter in place while all the scary tourists assist in our economic recovery.

        I encourage you to be the hero you think you are.

      2. CommonSenseish April 6, 2021 2:11 pm Reply

        Are you serious? These people are bringing back MONEY to this island. And what makes you think they aren’t being cautious? After over a year of not being able to do anything, you should be glad they decided to come to this island and spend their money. JERK.

      3. Wow. April 6, 2021 8:39 pm Reply

        You two are part of many who are really the problem here. You want to be taken care of by government and then shame and tell others what do to. There are far too many of you types that loved this whole pandemic. You realize how happy you are to be forced into your own mediocrity and want to fault others for living their lives and their right to do so. Last i checked every single person who wants to come to kauai experience the beauty and spend their hard earned money here. That’s fantastic. People like you who aren’t coming to kauai thank god. We’ll have some normal freedom living families.

      4. nobody April 6, 2021 10:00 pm Reply

        Easy for the financially privileged to say. Must be nice.

      5. JMM April 6, 2021 11:28 pm Reply

        I reside here. Walking into Safeway in parking lot a man in a van was aggressively plowing without regard for my safety. I experienced the tension in the parking lot, then when witnessing the visitors in the store. If you were in a connected state would you self limit to your own state boundaries?

    2. CommonSenseish April 6, 2021 2:13 pm Reply

      Another idiot. Sounds like someone needs therapy to get over their unacknowledged fear of absolutely nothing.

  2. Keith R Yap April 6, 2021 8:31 am Reply

    Interisland Travel should be allowed without testing for vaccinated individuals. Travel between islands have been the lifeline to keep families in touch and that has really affected the families ability to stay in touch and help each other. It does not seem reasonable for outer islands to be tested but flying into Oahu it’s okay. Statistics have been stable between islands so it appears the outer island travelers that have to go to Oahu is unnecessarily burdened financially and stressed to get the test timely, especially for the weekend travelers.

  3. Mark April 6, 2021 11:36 am Reply

    Tell us John, if the zombie apocalypse doesn’t happen with in say, 6 weeks will you admit your full of Liberal B.S.?

    1. Lawaibob April 6, 2021 8:32 pm Reply

      How’s the weather under your bridge today, Mark?

    2. Yes. April 6, 2021 8:40 pm Reply

      They’ll just shift the goal posts back to Asian hate or some other identity politicking.

  4. logic is dead April 6, 2021 1:12 pm Reply

    Best we can figure is the vax saves the recipient from a potentially severe case of covid. It DOES NOT, I repeat DOES NOT (confirmed by all federal health agencies), stop a person from getting the virus. So, Ms Berreman, vaccinated individuals become wolves in sheep’s clothing. They could be sick, not show symptoms, and in all their unrestricted activities after close contact with a sick person, spread covid far and wide. So giving the vaccinated free reign after exposure is discrimination at best, favoring the vaccinated because they follow your rules, but in reality, they are more dangerous than unvaccinated, not even realizing they are sick. At least the unvaccinated show symptoms and know to stay home if they aren’t feeling well.

  5. randy kansas April 6, 2021 2:36 pm Reply

    this place was barely making it with tourists, most likely would not survive without tourists….. only thing keeping us afloat now, are high property taxes paid by rich investors and federal government bail out money….

  6. Barrie Holms April 6, 2021 3:44 pm Reply

    Not all of us mainland travelers are privileged jerks. I’m fully vaccinated, have been for months. I love the islands and her people. I just returned from 2 weeks in Maui. Did I complete the safe travels app, yes. Did I test negative for Covid before I flew, yes. Did I stand on long lines at the airport for documents to be screened? Yes. All while practicing my patience for all the privileged folk who think rules don’t apply to them, why?? Because I love Hawaii and her people. So when I come to Kauai in August, please remember that some of us really live with Aloha in our hearts. Shop local, eat local, support the market vendors and put our “tourist “ money into the local pockets. Mahalo Nui🌴🍍🌈

  7. Tyler Bratt April 6, 2021 4:07 pm Reply

    Anti resident? The listed travelers were interisland residents.
    Can you hate everyone?

  8. Terry April 7, 2021 6:48 am Reply

    Where is the 3800+ number of visitors to Kauai coming from? The HTA website only shows a little over 1100. That’s a big difference and I’m curious as to why the numbers don’t agree.

  9. Sandee April 7, 2021 4:35 pm Reply

    Not liberal BS, but sure sounds like the repulsive republicans
    resorting to exposing the public to their bogus opinions.

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