What to Know Before Traveling to Kauai in 2022

What to Know Before Traveling to Kauai in 2022

  • Susan Higgins
  • 05/2/22

An inside guide to Kauai, COVID-19 

Stretching 552 square miles, Kauai offers a vibrant, tropical landscape that is beloved by all who encounter it. To explore all that Kauai has to offer, you’ll want to be well-prepared for your island getaway. From its breathtaking beaches to its unbeatable hiking trails, here are a few key things to keep in mind before traveling to Kauai in 2022. 

Many people love Kauai for the close-knit community the small island fosters. Locals work to protect the keiki (children) and the kupuna (elders).  The truest definition of Aloha is the mutual consideration and affection between community members with no obligation in return. It’s caring for the sake of caring. As such, the people of Kauai have dutifully followed mask mandates, whether they were vaccinated or not. 

Traveling to Kauai – Post Covid

Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program came to an end at midnight, Friday, March 25, 2022 for all domestic travel. This means that if you plan to travel to Kauai from the continental U.S. for work or pleasure on or after March 26, 2022, you will no longer be required to create a Safe Travels account, show COVID-19 vaccination status, or take a pre-travel test before boarding your flight. Visiting the Hawaiian Islands is now a whole lot easier!

Passengers arriving in Hawaii directly from international airports, however, must adhere to federal U.S. entry requirements, which include showing proof of an up-to-date vaccination document and negative pre-travel COVID-19 test result taken within one day of travel. Further information may be found at www.hawaiicovid19.com/travel. There may be additional mandates from airline partners so we highly recommend that you check with your airline of choice before your flight.


Wearing a Mask or Face Covering

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has rated Hawaii’s COVID-19 community infection level as “low”. Case counts have fallen; hospitalizations have trended down. Accordingly, Governor Ige also lifted the mask mandate as the emergency proclamation related to COVID-19 expired on March 25th. 

Kauai County Mayor, Derek Kawakami was quick with his praise. “We thank our entire state who came together, made tremendous sacrifices, and overcame the greatest challenge our society has faced in recent history,” he said. “We thank Governor Ige, the state Department of Health, and all of our partners across the islands, for your leadership and guidance. Most of all, we thank all of our small business owners, essential workers, working parents, kupuna, and most especially our keiki – for your compassion and resilience to see us to this significant turning point!” 

On March 01, 2022, Mayor Derek Kawakami officially repealed Kauai's last emergency rule for the COVID-19. Previously, Emergency Rule 28 limited social gatherings and required events over gathering limits to ensure attendees were either fully vaccinated or showed proof of a negative COVID test. 

Masks are still an important tool in preventing transmission of COVID-19. Face coverings are strongly recommended for those over age 65, those with compromised immune systems, for those who care for people at risk of severe illness and those unvaccinated for COVID-19. Masks may still be required on public transportation and within Hawaii’s airports. It would be good practice to continue to carry a mask with you at all times while on Kauai so you’re always prepared. 


Planning your Visit

With the loosening of travel restrictions, we anticipate that even more visitors will start booking flights and heading to the islands. Securing your travel and ancillary activities in advance is a must, as rental cars, dining reservations, event spaces, activities and tours are sure to get snapped up quickly. 

Airlines are well aware of the impending demand and are beginning to add more flights to Hawaii. Delta Airlines just announced that it will be adding three new routes by the end of 2022. Southwest recently added direct flights to Kauai. 

Restaurants are still being cautious and the island's workforce has been heavily impacted by the most recent wave of infections. Most businesses are still struggling to maintain a skeleton crew. It’s important to be patient and understanding as businesses work hard to get back on their feet and provide their goods and services to visitors and locals alike. 

Also, when visiting Kauai, it’s important to be mindful that the island was closed to visitors for over a year. While everyone is excited that travelers have returned, local business owners and residents appreciate your patience and support, as our community, like most around the world, is still experiencing staffing shortages, supply chain interruptions, and must keep the health and safety of our community front and center. When you’re here, it’s important to embrace the Aloha and be Pono — wise to the ways of Hawaii. 

Hotels and Accommodations 

We recommend that you access the website and social media platforms of your Kauai accommodations for information about their property-specific safety protocols, as well as the availability of restaurants, activities, and amenities at each property. 

Parks and Beaches

While the majority of parks, beaches, and trails on all islands are open, there may be some restrictions or other changes that have been put in place since your last visit. For instance, there are new restrictions in place limiting the number of visitors to the far north side of Kaua’i. If you plan to hike the famed Napali Coast trail or visit beautiful Ke’e Beach at the end of the road, you must reserve one of the limited parking spaces in advance, or even better book your seat on the North Shore Shuttle before you arrive.

It is recommended that you refer to the Kauai County website for the most current information, https://www.kauai.gov For a detailed listing of open and closed state parks, visit the State website at https://www.dlnr.hawaii.gov 


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