Maui has unique concerns and requirements when it comes to COVID-19 safety and prevention. As a remote island with many multigenerational families living together and limited access to medical resources Maui is particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. Travelers to the island should observe the set COVID-19 protocols for the safety of everyone. Here is what to expect when traveling to Maui during the pandemic.
Island has Reopened
Maui’s tourism industry closed down in late March 2020 when the Hawaiian Islands went into lockdown to control the pandemic. Around then, Hawaii’s governor and citizens asked tourists not to visit the islands. Anybody arriving in Hawaii from that point forward was required to go through a 14 day quarantine.
On October 15, 2020 Hawaii reopened doors to guests with pre-travel COVID testing requirements. Since then, visitors arriving on Maui with a negative, trusted partner, COVID-19 test result taken inside 72 hours before their flight aren’t required to quarantine.
Individuals who visit Maui without a negative COVID pre-test will be subjected to an obligatory 10 day quarantine, decreased from 14 days, on December 17. The quarantine, as you can expect, restricts the selection of places you can stay. During quarantine on Maui, guests must stay inside their hotels for the entirety of the ten days. You won’t be allowed to go shopping, lease a vehicle, or visit the beaches. There are fines and even the possibility of jail time for those that break quarantine rules.
Sites and Attractions are Better and Cleaner
The seven-month shutdown has helped with the renewal of the popular tourist spots on Maui. Beaches and seas are clean and fresh. Fish have returned to plenitude. Wildlife is prospering. Flowers are blooming, and the weather fantastic as always. Maui looks lovelier than any other time in recent history.
The infrastructure has benefited from the break too. A few road stretches have been repaved and improved, and numerous organizations and facilities used the lockdown time to redesign and finish things.
Masks are a Must
Despite all that goodness waiting for you, be sure to observe set protocols. The island is actively focused on protecting both tourists and residents, which means strict adherence to safety rules. Social distancing, hand washing, and face masks are mandatory for travelers as they are for residents.
You cannot walk anywhere in public on the island without a mask. Unlike other places in the world, wearing masks is not a personal choice on Maui. They are legally enforced. Penalties for not wearing a mask can include imprisonment or fines up to $5,000.
It’s a matter of safety and well-being, anyway, and everyone should adhere to the guidelines for everyone’s safety on the island. As a visitor here, you’ll discover that Hawaiians are in this together, and wearing masks is the new way to spread aloha (love and friendship) on the magical islands.
Locals Spread Aloha
Following the seven-month lockdown, residents on the island are excited to open their doors to travelers who respect COVID rules and regulations. They are simply trusting that all tourists will be mindful of others and respectful of safety protocols when visiting Maui during COVID-19.
When visiting Maui please keep in mind that the locals are opening their home to you and that comes with vulnerability. There is excitement and expectation, but there is apprehension as well. You may run into a couple of Maui residents who are not happy to see you as a tourist. These would be isolated cases. There is much love on the island as long as you respect the laws and guidelines.
Sites and Hosts Adhere to Protocols
Before you set off for Maui, please review Maui’s most current Public Health Emergency Rules to know what is needed of you on the island. What’s more, learn about the State of Hawaii’s protocols set out in Emergency Proclamations.
Everywhere on Maui, you’ll witness COVID-related changes at each site. Hotels, shops, cafes, boutiques, beaches, and other attractions are all disinfecting, enforcing, social distancing, and requiring masks and hand washing.
Some places close early. In others, you will be asked to make a reservation in advance to plan on social distancing. Other venues may require temperature checks when you show up.
In a nutshell, visiting Maui during COVID-19 is a different experience. It can be restrictive, but the sites and venues are in their best status for a long time in recent history. Lots of fresh air, natural beauty, and smiles, but adherence to COVID-19 rules is a must for everyone’s safety.