Mayor Kawakami sends Governor proposed Rule 19, creating a tier system to allow pre-testing travel

Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami today sent proposed Mayor’s Emergency Rule 19 to Gov. David Ige, which would create a tier system similar to the one already approved for O‘ahu. Proposed Rule 19 includes safeguards to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the event of an increase in cases on Kaua‘i.

If approved, this rule allows Kaua‘i to move forward with the state’s pre-travel testing program on October 15. Further, it identifies the point at which Kaua‘i would opt out of the state’s pre-travel test plan and continue the 14-day mandatory quarantine for incoming arrivals.

“Many have requested my response to the Governor’s offer for counties to ‘opt out’ of the state’s pre-travel testing program,” said Mayor Kawakami. “It has never been our intention to opt out of the state’s program, but rather to supplement the program in a way that meets our county’s unique needs. We maintain that a pre- and post-arrival testing program is the safest option for our residents and visitors, and we will continue to work with the state to achieve that goal.

“In light of Kaua‘i’s post-arrival testing program (Rule 18) being denied by the Governor earlier this week, we have continued to work with our health officials and other partners to take a phased, responsible approach to reopening our economy while keeping our island safe.”

Mayor Kawakami’s proposed Emergency Rule 19 provides a four-tiered system to define allowable businesses and activities, based on the current disease outlook on Kaua‘i at that time.

· Tier 1 is the most restrictive tier. It goes into effect if there is a one-week average of eight or more daily COVID-19 cases. No pre-testing quarantine exemptions will be allowed.

· Tier 2 assumes that the seven-day average of daily COVID-19 cases is between five to eight cases. Moving into this tier would automatically trigger Kaua‘i to opt out of the state’s pre-travel testing program and continue a 14-day mandatory quarantine for incoming travelers.

· Tier 3 assumes a weekly average of two to four daily COVID-19 cases. At this level, transpacific travelers will be able to pre-test out of quarantine, per the state’s travel plan. Restrictions such as further limiting the size of gatherings and receptions would be put in place.

· Tier 4 is the least restrictive, and is the current level on Kaua‘i: an average of less than two daily active cases. It allows nearly all businesses and activities to operate with minimal restrictions. It utilizes the state’s 72-hour pre-arrival test program to allow transpacific travelers a quarantine exemption.

“By opting in to the state’s pre-travel test plan, the county is also opting in to Lt. Gov. Green’s recently-announced surveillance program, which will offer an additional layer of testing here on island,” said Mayor Kawakami. “We look forward to learning more about this program.

“Kaua‘i continues to work with our private industry partners to help promote a voluntary post-arrival testing program here on Kaua‘i. We will announce more on that campaign in the coming days.

“In all tiers, we must continue to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and avoid large gatherings. We know these to be the most effective way for us to protect ourselves and those around us from spreading COVID-19.

“We understand that October 15 is quickly approaching, and we will announce more details on the status of proposed Mayor’s Emergency Rule 19 as updates become available.”

Upon approval by the Governor, Mayor’s Emergency Rule 19 will be posted to the County of Kaua‘i’s COVID-19 website at For more information on the state’s pre-travel test program, please visit

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