The Journal Gazette
Saturday, September 19, 2020 1:00 am

In a bubble in paradise

Add “resort bubbles” to your ever-expanding COVID-19 vocabulary. And you might want to add it to your wish list, as well.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed an emergency rule this week to allow guests at participating resorts on the island of Kauai to leave their hotel rooms to use resort amenities during their mandatory 14-day quarantine periods. The catch is that guests must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports hotel security officials will be required to notify the Kauai Police Department if a guest tampers with the monitoring unit or leaves the resort bubble. Violators, if convicted, could face a fine of up to $5,000 and/or serve up to a year in jail. The bracelet isn't the ankle variety – it's more like a smartwatch, Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami explained in a video.

Hawaii remains closed to trans-Pacific tourism until at least Oct. 1. The state had planned to reopen for travelers by Sept. 1 and to lift the quarantine period if visitors presented a negative test for the coronavirus at the airport. A surge of COVID-19 cases prompted officials to delay the reopening, however.

The start date for the resort bubble program hasn't been determined, but if you can afford the time and expense of a two-week Hawaiian holiday in the months ahead, you might want to contact your travel agent. Just don't expect to wander from poolside or the hotel restaurant.

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