Living in Maui during Covid-19

On March 12, 2020 we checked into a Airbnb house in Monteverde Costa Rica to visit the Cloud Forest, little did we know that would be our home until July. After several cancelled flights and pushbacks we arrived on Maui later in July. As the flight touched ground we knew the conditions of arrival. At the time Maui had a mandatory quarantine for two weeks. This meant anyone arriving had to stay indoors at one address for two weeks before they are allowed to leave for any reason other than medical. We knew it would be hard but we’re willing to do anything to stay on Maui. Doug and I were two of only 127 people arriving on the island that day, mostly residents. Before baggage claim we filled out  paperwork asking for our address, phone number and length of stay.  We took this entire process very seriously after reading about people who were asked to leave the island for breaking quarantine. The fine for breaking quarantine was $5000.00 and the residents are quick to tell on people here.  

Kahului Airport – Maui

We had originally planned to visit Maui earlier in the year but the closure of international flights stopped our plans dead in their tracks. Once we turned the key into our condo on Maui, we both felt a huge weight lifted and what once seemed like it was impossible became real.  Now the easy part begins, spending 14 days indoors on a beautiful island.  All groceries were delivered and our days were spent watching tv, sitting on the back patio and smelling island air. Time flew by and the day arrived where we could go outside. We felt like we had made it to the only place in the world that didn’t have the black cloud of Covid over them.  We both received a text stating our quarantine was over. Sweet freedom!

One of the perks during the mandatory quarantine law was the traffic.  Rental cars were parked in large lots by the airport. We could see them from the sky while landing on Maui. The best thing of all of this were the beaches. The beaches were bare and beautiful. Walking onto an empty Kaanapali Beach was a once and a lifetime experience. The empty beach was also a stark reminder the world was in trouble at that time. Kaanapali Beach is on hotel row making it one of the busiest and most popular beaches in town before the pandemic.  

Visitors were able to return to Maui with proof of a negative Covid test starting October 15th, 2020.  Anyone visiting Maui would have to show a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of arrival or they must quarantine for 14 days. This opened the door to visitors coming to Maui for a vacation. 

Parked rental cars by the airport during Covid

By November holiday travelers seemed to be visiting in rock steady numbers. During the Thanksgiving holiday the beaches were busier and the tour boats were back in business. Wearing a mask in public is the law on Maui. Not wearing a mask could face a ticket and fine.  During Christmas the crowds doubled in size at the beaches and supermarkets. We stayed at home to avoid gathered people and stay safe.  

Kaanapali Beach during Christmas 2020

Maui is a safer place than most states, but it’s very vulnerable to Covid.  There are new cases reported everyday and each day brings a few more. Despite being tested 72 hours before arriving, some of the travelers have to pass through a couple of airports before arriving on Maui.  Most of the airports and states do not require a negative Covid test before arrival. Wearing a mask is a must on Maui. This pandemic will be over one day soon and things will be normal again. We look forward to continuing our travels. 

West side Maui sunset

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