Around the globe, and particularly the mainland USA, the coronavirus continues to change and challenge our lives daily. Hawaii is no exception as we struggle to keep the people of the island chain healthy, while trying to figure out how to re-open safely and save our faltering economy.
As cases spike, borders close and ‘re-opening’ dates see suspension and push backs. Maui was excitedly set to welcome the return of its tourists and business travelers on August 1st with eased restrictions of the 14-day quarantine and new guidelines for pre-travel testing. Now, we once again find ourselves crossing our fingers that the newly slated re-open date of September 1st will become a reality.
New talks of creating ‘Resort Bubbles’ in Hawaii are still in the discussion phase and currently include Hawaii Island, Maui, and Kauai. If approved they could potentially look something like this: Test negative for coronavirus 72 hours before boarding your flight; upon arrival transport directly to your pre-approved resort bubble lodging and begin your 14-day quarantine order with the freedom to move about your resort, it’s grounds, and beaches within the confines of a predetermined “geofence”. You can soak up the sun and enjoy your own little slice of paradise, you just have to stay within your bubble. After completing the 14-day quarantine order, you are then free to move about the island and discover more of its beauty. Surf, hike trails, drive upcountry, go out on a boat, enjoy restaurants, and more. While this “resort bubble” idea seems like it could potentially be set into motion, there are a lot of variables that keep it in question such as the operation of the “resort bubbles” interior restaurants, swimming pools, and other amenities. Health safety of the staff is another concern as they go home to their families at the end of their shifts. There is also the question of how to handle a guest who arrived asymptomatic and during quarantine tests positive. What will it mean for the safety of the other guests and resort employees? Working hard to find the answers to these questions and more, leaders in the industry along with our Mayors and Governor are tirelessly trying to find a way to build bridges that will allow for Maui’s tourism to flourish safely once again.
If you are hoping/planning/daydreaming of coming to Maui, Hawaii, news outlets MauiWatch, HawaiiNewsNow, and MauiNow are the best places to find updates and the most current, accurate information. You can find them through Google Search, on Facebook and Instagram. Just remember, what is current and accurate today could easily change tomorrow since we are dealing with unprecedented unknowns as we try to navigate our way through the pandemic.