This post provides the most up-to-date information on Hawaii COVID-19 restrictions and policies, and their impact on vacation rentals.
Hawaii Opens for Travel on August 1, 2020
Hawaii will reopen on August 1 to tourists who have taken the COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their flight to Hawaii and tested negative. This is great news for the tourist industry in Hawaii and strikes a fair balance between the economy of Hawaii and the health of the residents.
This announcement was made by Gov. David Ige on June 24, 2020.
New Vacation Rental Cleaning Guidelines
Rental by Owner Awareness Association (RBOAA) compiled Enhanced Cleaning Protocols for owners to prepare for welcoming guests during the ongoing epidemic.
RBOAA relies on the support of their members to keep up the work. To show your support and start receiving their newsletters, join or renew your membership in RBOAA.
Hawaii COVID-19 FAQ
Each municipality makes their best efforts to create such a document. For travelers to Hawaii, the best source is Coronavirus FAQ on Hawaii.gov.
Hawaii 14-day Quarantine Rules
On March 26, 2020 the mandatory 14-day quarantine took effect in the State of Hawaii. All visitors and residents arriving through Hawaii airports are required to stay in their designated quarantine location for 14 days or the whole duration of their stay in the Hawaii, whichever is shorter.
In the beginning of June, Gov. David Ige removed the requirement to self-isolate for inter-island travelers. The quarantine for out-of-state travelers was extended to July 31, 2020. Visitors who leave their rooms to go shopping or for a promenade, can pay up to $5,000, or be imprisoned for up to one year, or both.
On June 24, Gov. David Ige made an announcement that starting on August 1, Hawaii will not require quarantine for travelers, who tested negative to COVID-19 within 72 hours of their Hawaii-bound flight.
Hawaii COVID-19 Vacation Rentals Impact
Until the middle of March 2020, all vacation rentals in Hawaii were prohibited to operate. While hotels were allowed to have guests during the quarantine, vacation rentals were banned from operations. Maui’s Mayor Victorino even said: “We need to take care of the resorts and hotels first” – a statement that has no legal justification.
Probably as a result of the threat of a lawsuit by Oahu owners and managers as well as Florida’s lawsuit against the ban on Vacation Rentals, the mayors of three islands – Maui, Kauai and Big Island – allowed transient vacation rentals to reopen. Started on June 16, legal vacation rentals can have guests not subject to quarantine – those who completed it, residents or inter-island travelers of the island of the rental. Owners of the rental are allowed to complete their quarantine in their own units.
Vacation rentals are still not permitted to operate on the island of Oahu as of the time of this writing.
Hawaii COVID-19 Property Tax Deferral
Given the fact that vacation rental owners face massive losses from Hawaii COVID-19 quarantine and travel disruptions, it’s reasonable to expect the counties to allow extensions in paying property taxes. But so far only the County of Honolulu (Oahu) has permitted paying the due tax in monthly installments, without penalty or interest.
Will Hawaii Test Visitors for COVID-19?
As of June 10, 2020, according to the Associated Press, Hawaii officials said they are planning to install thermal screening stations and facial recognition technology at the airports by the end of the year. Gov. David Ige said the technology would help track people only within the airport while they’re being screened for coronavirus.