Hawaii Island considers ‘geofence’ for quarantined tourists

July 24, 2020 GMT

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Officials on the Big Island are reviewing an idea that would allow tourists to roam freely on resorts while their movements are tracked to ensure they stay inside the boundaries of the facilities.

The so-called “resort bubble” concept would keep the tourists within a “geofence” that tracks their movements, West Hawaii Today reported.

Tourists currently arriving in Hawaii must quarantine in their hotel or motel rooms for 14 days before they are allowed outside.


Officials on Maui and Kauai islands have also started to examine the feasibility of the plan.

The tourists “would be allowed to stay at selected resorts and the resorts would control where the visitors would be allowed to range,” Hawaii County Managing Director Roy Takemoto told city councilors.

County officials and tourism authorities have concerns because he system depends on tourists allowing themselves to be monitored at all times, West Hawaii Today reported.

Hawaii officials are working on a plan that would require tourists to take coronavirus tests 72 hours before they travel to Hawaii and hope to put it in place by Sept. 1, West Hawaii Today reported.

Takemoto told West Hawaii Today that many Big Island coronavirus cases — except for a cluster at Kona Community Hospital — have been from travelers.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.


This version corrects the dateline of the story to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, not Honolulu.