Hawaii vacation news: October 28, 2020

– Yesterday, Gov. Ige announced that starting November 6th, Hawaii will welcome travelers from Japan with a 72-hour pre-test from a trusted testing partner. This Hawaii News Now segment provides a summary of that announcement.

– In yesterday’s press conference, the governor shared the following helpful image to explain all the testing requirements based on where travel originates to and within Hawaii.

– One of the bigger confusions/complaints/controversies we’re seeing since the October 15th re-opening is about masks. Some lawmakers are calling for a clear, statewide mask mandate. Rules can vary by county, but basically people are expected to wear masks anytime they’re outside of their home/lodging — even on the beach when not swimming.

– Due to a recent surge of COVID-19 cases on the island of Lana’i, the island is now on stay-at-home orders. The island went from no cases since the beginning of the pandemic to over 80 cases in just a week. All travelers to the island must quarantine for 14 days.

– If you’re planning to go to some popular state parks in Hawaii, you’ll have to pay more. New fees for out-of-state visitors went into effect earlier this month. The new fees reflect a 100% increase — mostly from $5 to $10 per car. Hawaii residents are allowed free entry. The fees for walk-up entry changed from $1 to $5 per individual. The parks where new fees are in effect are:

– Winter has come early for Hawaii Island on Monday with the season’s first snowfall on the tall summit of Mauna Kea per Hawaii News Now. If you’re planning a winter trip to Hawaii, don’t worry. You’re not going to need your winter coat, unless you plan to go to the higher elevations like Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa or Haleakala. (See these frequently asked questions about a winter vacation in Hawaii.)

– Another signal that winter is coming is the arrival of the humpback whales. The first sighting was on October 8th off the coast of Maui per the Maui News. Congratulations to Jack Fitzpatrick who is the winner of our 11th annual contest to guess the first humpback whale sighting. Jack correctly guessed that the first sighting would be on October 8th. Apparently he had some insider information because he said that Nemo told him.

  1. Does Gov Ige have the authority to make all counties comply with the exact terms of a mandate? If so all should get on the same page. A vast majority of our time is spent hiking when we are in Kauai. It is my understanding that if I wear a mask or buff on a trial and raise it as I pass people and do the same when out for a run I will be in violation of the mandate. Is that your take?

    1. Kauai’s rule appears to be that when you are outdoors and within 6 ft of others who are outside your household, you must wear a mask. Their rule is described in this document: https://www.kauai.gov/Portals/0/Civil_Defense/EmergencyProclamations/2010134-COK_Mayor%27s%20Emergency%20Rule%20No_%2019%2C%20Amendment%20No_%201%20%28certified%29%20-%20signed.pdf

      I do think it would help to have some sort of statewide rule because it’s not very clear right now. They should communicate the rule in some other way than requiring people to find a verbose emergency proclamations. The general public is not going to know to go to a county’s webpage and search around until they find the rules.

  2. It’s early for the whales. I saw one once in November, the others that I saw were in Dec.
    I saw snow on Mauna Kea only one time in late November. We were wearing shorts on the beach and looking up at the snow on the mountain.

    My wife(somehow) found an article that you may be interested in .
    It’s from KUTV dated October 27, 2020 entitled :
    “Utah Family Flies to Hawaii, Finds Out Negative COVID19 Won’t be Accepted”.

    1. It’s such a neat feeling to look up and see snow on the mountain while you’re enjoying the beach!

      I found the article you recommended. Wow, what a nightmare for those people. Very sad.

      1. Yes, it was great . We looked at Honu on the sunny warm beach and looked at snow on the mountain ..fascinating !!
        I can’t even imagine the disappointment and potential loss of money. We really felt bad for those people.

        I hope that everyone who travels and takes travel insurance reads their policy carefully, especially because of the pandemic. I did some research and looked at a number of insurance companies for scenarios that I could possibly face due to the virus and possible quarantine. I learned a lot about what they covered and what they did not cover.

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