Hawaii travel news: New Hawaii vacation satisfaction survey results; Maui mayor has harsh words for visitors + more

* The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) commissioned a second survey to gauge overall trip satisfaction under the new Safe Travels program. (You can review our coverage of the first survey here.) In the latest survey, 82% rated their trip as “excellent.” That result was down by 3% compared to the previous survey. You can review the full results in well-organized slides here.

* That same HTA survey indicated 90% compliance in wearing a mask, which is in near alignment with the statewide mask-wearing observational metrics. Apparently, the mayor of Maui has different observations as he had some harsh words aimed at visitors in statements shared by Hawaii News Now:

“You see these people on the beach back here, they’re visitors and they’re not wearing masks,” he said. “I tell you right now, as far as I’m concerned if you can’t obey our rules, don’t come if you can’t wear a mask or do what is right.” He added, “I don’t care if you come from Texas, I don’t care if you come from Mississippi, or any state that doesn’t require it. Here in Hawaii and Maui County, it is a mandate.”

Per the statewide rule, face coverings are not required while outdoors when physical distance of six (6) feet from other individuals (who are not members of the same household/living unit/residence) can be maintained at all times. Maui County has some exceptions to the statewide rule as explained in this most recently released list of COVID-related rules issued from Maui County. Per page six of their 28-page long rule document,

“Within Maui County, this exception applies:

1. When persons are stationary and adequately separated, such as occupying a pool lounge chair, beach chair, or towel.

2. Face coverings must be worn while walking to and from the pool or beach area and may only be removed once the person is stationary and adequately separated from non-household members.

This exception does not apply, and face coverings are required:

1. On sidewalks, hiking trails, and in parks and similar areas, unless actively engaged in strenuous outdoor physical activity, provided adequate physical distancing is both possible and practiced.

2. In any open-air or partially open mall, marketplace, lobby, atrium, gas station, or similar facility.

3. Where specific facility rules, such as for sports, bars, and restaurants, are established.”

Many COVID prevention rules are buried in long documents full of “legalese” and cross-referencing to other long documents. We wonder if the face covering rules need better explanation in plain language and not stuck in long documents.

* On Hawaii’s Big Island, they’re considering modifying their COVID-19 testing of arriving travelers citing mounting costs per Hawaii News Now. The test they are referring to is the test conducted at the Big Island airports for arriving travelers. The pre-travel test will still be required. Out of a total of about 180,000 tests upon arrival, there were 165 positive  results.

* Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore is plans to reopen July 1, 2021 after a multi-million dollar renovation per the Star Advertiser. This resort is one of our Oahu favorites, so we’ll be excited to eventually see the renovated resort.

* Southwest Airlines announced they’re launching a pre-clearance program for travelers departing to Oahu and Maui from their five California gateway cities. Pre-clearance provides an option for travelers participating in the state’s pre-travel testing program to bypass the airport screening upon arrival in Hawaii.

  1. These people don’t even know the rules they themselves make. To suggest people wear masks whilst lounging on the beach borders on some level of clinical paranoia. Not to mention a large portion of the population is already vaccinated… if the question “What is really going on here?” hasn’t popped into your head yet… I don’t know what it’s going to take. Not saying people shouldn’t take precautions if they’re older/have a health condition or are around someone of that status, but, again, to scold people for not wearing a face mask on the beach is actual insanity.

    1. Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan.
      It’s common sense that a mask collects germs, body waste, and contaminants where they become more concentrated and tax the immune system. When breathing is restricted the oxygen is depleted, heart rate and blood pressure goes up, and thus one becomes more susceptible to all manner of illnesses – result: the “cure” is worse than the Covid scare disease (which by the way only has an overall fatality rate of 0.1% – most of the deaths are in crowded nursing homes).
      The purpose of the Covid scare is to suppress free speech, destroy one’s ability to communicate and develop social skills in a non-virtual community setting and to eventually inflict us with a totalitarian state.
      Because of the Covid scare (and whatever weird laws are that were recently enacted by the Hawaiian politicians) the owner of the private property we were renting on the north-east side of Oahu just canceled our reservation. We were to spend 2 days in Maui prior to this (late July). Now we have to cancel all our other respective reservations and do vacation elsewhere.
      Hard to make plans and implement them when ungodly government infringes on our God given liberties (an keeps moving the goal post).

  2. Sheila-

    If you are on a hiking trail and hiking or running anywhere outdoors can one assume that is “strenuous outdoor physical activity” and as long as you can maintain adequate physical distancing its ok? I don’t want to break the rules.


    This exception does not apply, and face coverings are required:

    1. On sidewalks, hiking trails, and in parks and similar areas, unless actively engaged in strenuous outdoor physical activity, provided adequate physical distancing is both possible and practiced.

    1. Jon – my guess is that the scenario you described is ok….and if it’s not, it very well should be. 🙂

  3. We just came back to the mainland from a wonderful Maui vacation. We wore masks when around strangers, on the streets, in the stores , waiting at restaurants etc. even tho we were vaccinated and tested. It’s respect for others and the rules on the land we’re visiting. Just wear the mask for a little longer and this desease will pass, and less people will get sick and or die. Don’t let your last vacation, be your last vacation.

  4. I bought a pre-paid Hilton vacation…but …I have since requested (and been granted) a change to another Hilton resort property. Hawaii is just too screwy right now. Maybe in a couple years the ‘crazy factor’ will have settled down and the average tourist won’t feel like he/she is walking on egg shells.

    Best wishes to all.

  5. My husband and I have a Maui trip planned for October. We are vaccinated. If there is still a mask mandate at the time of our vacation, we will cancel our 3 week vacation. This mask policy is insane. Maui is beautiful but not worth a vacation being ruined….yes ruined…by having to wear masks even after being vaccinated. Where’s the logic behind that anyway?

  6. We are going to Hawaii, hopefully in October. If things are the same, we will put our mask on and still have a great time. And I’m sorry but if you go to another State or Country, you need to respect their rules.

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