Latest Covid-19 Update as of 08-18-20: Pre-Arrival Testing Program Delayed Once Again
Sadly, and as suspected, the Governor announced today that, in addition to rigorous restrictions on gatherings on the island of Oahu, there is once again an official delay of the pre-testing arrival program, which would have allowed Trans-Pacific travelers to come to Hawaii with a negative Covid-19 test without having to quarantine. (See article HERE).
However, due to a surge of cases on Oahu, and in attempt to curb the spread to other islands and prevent further potential exposure to the islands, that program has been delayed, and the current mandatory 14-day quarantine for Trans-Pacific travelers remains in affect until at least September 30, 2020.
What does this mean for your wedding? If you are not in the state of Hawaii, and you had a wedding scheduled for September, unless you want to stay in your hotel room for 14 days quarantining prior to your wedding, I'm afraid that means postponing and rescheduling (or cancelling outright, of course). There is also the option for a virtual wedding or vow renewal if you don't want to cancel, but cannot postpone your wedding either.
If you have a wedding coming up in October, it's time to begin discussions about what you might do if the start of the pre-arrival testing program is delayed again.
If you have a wedding with Simple Kona Beach Weddings, your wedding agreement covers you for postponement and reschedule (even more than once, if necessary) due to the pandemic any time up to one year of your original date. Just call or email me to discuss options!
As of today, there have still be no definitive announcements or decisions from Governor Ige as to whether the state will go through with its plan to drop the 14-day mandatory quarantine September 1st, and require a negative Covid-19 test within 3 days prior to travel instead.
However, based on recent articles, and an explosion of cases in Oahu over the past week, there has been growing concern with keeping with the plan (see these articles from today HERE and HERE), due to the fact that our hospitals could very quickly become overrun. As a result, the mayors on the Big Island, Maui and Kauai are requesting that the mandatory 14-day quarantine for inter-island travel be reinstated, and many are calling for a delay in the lifting of the quarantine for those coming in from out of state, even with a negative test.
Thus, my personal guess is that they won't be going through with the plan starting September 1st, but no official word has been delivered to the public yet, and the governor says that he'd like to wait and see whether we can get things under control.
So I'm afraid there is no official word yet, but I'll be updating this page once we know something!
In the meantime, if you want to keep yourself up to date, the best places to find information are in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, on Hawaii News Now, and in West Hawaii Today. I find that the Star Advertiser (probably because they are based in the State's large city) seems to have the most complete information and keeps stories updated throughout the day, as does Hawaii News Now.
If you have a wedding in September or October, be aware that a system allowing out of state visitors may or may not be in place by September 1st, so be prepared for a last-minute change, or, if that feels too iffy for you, you may consider postponing and rescheduling now.
You will also want to check in with the airlines and hotels to find out what happens if the quarantine is still in place and you need to change your plans.
If you have a wedding or vow renewal with us here at Simple Kona Beach Weddings, rest assured that your wedding agreement allows for postponement and reschedule up to one calendar year of your original date (and if you agreement was signed before this clause was added, we can add it), allowing you to move anything you've paid up to this point forward with you to the future date. If you don't have your wedding agreement settled yet, we'll want to do this ASAP so that you will be able to save your deposit in case plans need to be changed! :)
That being said, if you are one of our couples, and have any additional questions or concerns, or you want to talk about all of your possibilities in more detail, please don't hesitate to send us an email and we'll set up a time to chat via phone!
I'll keep you posted here with updates as they become available. In the meantime, please stay safe!
Owner/Planner/Coordinator and Officiant of Simple Kona Beach Weddings