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Confusion Over Hawaii Relaxing COVID Restrictions

Posted on October 13, 2020

Owners of Hawaii timeshares need to keep a closer eye on plans for Hawaii officials to relax its COVID quarantine restrictions, as not all islands will agree to the new rules.

The state is still on schedule to relax restrictions on Thursday, but local officials on the Big Island of Hawaii have opted-out of the new regulations, instead choosing to continue the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement for all inbound visitors to the island. Officials believe that COVID numbers have not reduced to the levels needed to relax restrictions, even though the new rules will require visitors to produce a negative COVID test result prior to entering the state.

Last week, Hawaii Governor David Ige gave local mayors the ability to opt-out of the new rules, which allow visitors to skip the 14-day quarantine by producing the negative tests. Some local officials are asking for second tests to be administered after arrival as a second layer of protection.

Maui and Kauai are also considering opting out, but no decisions have been reported as of the time of this writing. Oahu officials have said they will abide by the new rules.

Another development which has complicated the reopening is reduced interisland flight service. Hawaiian Airlines has announced it is suspending Ohana by Hawaiian service to Molokai and Lanai beginning November 1. This means Mokulele Airlines will be the only airline servicing those destinations. Hawaiian previously suspended service between Honolulu and Kapalua in West Maui in March. The airline’s service to Maui (Kahului), Kauai (Lihue), Hilo and Kona will continue as scheduled.

For more details regarding Hawaii’s new pre-testing plan, please click here.

Movement Regarding Disneyland?  

After stating last week that he was in “no hurry” to establish guidelines for theme parks to reopen, California Governor Gavin Newsom indicated yesterday that talks were underway with Disney and Universal over possibly reopening theme parks.

Disneyland has been closed since mid-March due to the COVID pandemic. The theme park and affiliated Disney timeshares, resorts and retail outlets have been closed with the exception of the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, which reopened in July.

California officials were reportedly sending a delegation to Orlando to review the protocols used for Disney World’s reopening in July, presumably to go over a possible reopening plan for Disneyland. According to California’s color-coded reopening criteria, it would be at least another six weeks before the parks could reopen, under a best case scenario, if Orange County COVID numbers reduce to levels accepted by the state.  

UK and Australia Updates

A possible travel bubble between the United Kingdom and the United States could be opened by Thanksgiving if U.S. officials get their way. Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Transportation are in negotiations with U.K. officials to work on opening the travel bubble as well as shortening the quarantine requirements once entering the U.K.

Visitors from the U.S. are currently required to quarantine for 14 days upon entry into the U.K., while visitors are still banned from entering the U.S. from the U.K.

For timeshare owners looking to exchange into an Australia timeshare vacation, you may have to wait until late 2021. Australia remains closed to everyone other than returning citizens and residents, and Australian officials tipped their hand when releasing their federal budget for the up-coming fiscal year.

Officials are banking on the development of a COVID vaccine being ready in mid-2021 and distributed widely enough to allow visitors back into the country. Domestic travel within Australia is expected to pick up by Christmas as more states lift their border restrictions within the country.  

Timeshare Resort Updates

Timeshare owners looking for a status update on their favorite brand can do so below:

Bluegreen Vacations – Shoreline Towers in Gulf Shores, AL remains closed until Saturday due to the effects of Hurricane Sally. Pono Kai Resort is still on schedule to reopen tomorrow prior to the easing of COVID quarantine restrictions in Hawaii. The remaining Bluegreen resorts are open. Bluegreen has transitioned its information to highlight amenity details for each resort, so for details please go to https://www.bluegreenowner.com/featured/travel-advisory/amenities.

Capital Vacations – Grand Cayman officials have announced that the country is open only to returning citizens and residents, so vacationers are not yet allowed back into the country. Therefore, Coral Sands resort is closed until further notice. For Sea Palace in St. Maarten, the resort website is stating that owners must produce a negative COVID test prior to checking in. However, the resort is still showing as closed on the Capital Vacations website, so owners are encouraged to contact Capital directly for the latest status of the resort.

All US-based Capital Vacations timeshare resorts remain open, so for more information please go to https://www.capitalvacations.com/covid.php.

Club WyndhamWyndham timeshares in Hawaii are due to reopen on Thursday as the Hawaii quarantine restrictions are relaxed. However, owners may want to check with their resorts directly for the latest quarantine requirements due to the differences between the islands mentioned above. All other Wyndham timeshare resorts are open, so please click on https://clubwyndham.wyndhamdestinations.com/us/en/covid-19-information/list-of-impacted-resorts for the latest details.

Diamond ResortsDiamond timeshare resorts in Hawaii are scheduled to reopen tomorrow, while Alhambra Villas in Kissimmee is still expected to open on October 29. All other US-based Diamond resorts are open, so please visit https://www.diamondresorts.com/covid-19-update for more details.

Disney Vacation Club – Aulani remains on schedule for a November 1 opening, while Grand Californian is still closed for the foreseeable future. All other Disney timeshare resorts are open, so for more information please visit https://disneyvacationclub.disney.go.com/.

Divi Resorts – Divi Flamingo Beach Resort remains closed until at least November 1 due to new government COVID protocols restricting travel into Bonaire. Divi Southwinds Beach Resort in Barbados is expected to reopen on October 31, while Divi timeshares in St. Maarten and Aruba remain open. Divi Carina Bay in St Croix is closed for renovations. Please click on https://www.diviresorts.com/news.htm for further details.

Grand Pacific Resorts – All Grand Pacific resorts are open, so for more information please go to https://grandpacificresorts.com/resort-reopening-updates/.

Hilton Grand Vacations – Kings' Land by Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Big Island of Hawaii has a reopening dated listed as November 3. Otherwise, the remaining resorts showing as closed are the other five Hilton timeshare resorts in Hawaii, The Quin Central Park by Hilton Club, The Hilton Club – New York, the Residences by Hilton Club and Hilton Grand Vacations Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile. The rest of the U.S.-based Hilton timeshares are open, so please visit https://www.hiltongrandvacations.com/en/travel-alert for more details.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations – all Holiday Inn Club Vacations resorts are open. Click on https://holidayinnclub.com/safe-travels/resort-updates for details regarding COVID protocols at the individual resorts.

Marriott Vacation Club –Marriott’s Waikoloa Ocean Club in Hawaii, Marriott Vacation Club Pulse San Francisco and Marriott Vacation Club Pulse New York City all remain closed. All other U.S.-based Marriott timeshare resorts are open. For the latest details please visit https://hub.vacationclub.com/brands/marriott-vacation-club/.

Vistana Signature Experiences – all Westin timeshares and Sheraton timeshare resorts remain open as well as Harborside Resort at Atlantis. For Sheraton information please visit https://hub.vacationclub.com/brands/sheraton-vacation-club/ and for Westin details please go to https://hub.vacationclub.com/brands/westin-vacation-club/.

Westgate Resorts – Westgate Leisure Resort, Westgate Blue Tree Resort, Westgate Palace Resort and Westgate Towers Resort are listing an opening date of December 21. Westgate New York Grand Central and Westgate Tunica Resort are closed with no announced reopening date. All other Westgate timeshare resorts are open. Please go to https://www.westgateresorts.com/coronavirus-travel-advisory/ for more details.

WorldMark – WorldMark Hawaii timeshare resorts will reopen on Thursday with the exceptions of Makai Club and Makai Club Cottage which are planned to reopen on November 1 and WorldMark Kona on November 30. WorldMark San Francisco is not taking new reservations for stays prior to February 21, 2021. All other resorts in the WorldMark timeshare network are open. Please visit https://www.worldmarktheclub.com/news/covid19_impacted_resorts.shtml for more info.

Author

Author Pic
Steve Luba
Chief Communications Officer
Steve manages the public relations, social media and content creation efforts of the company. Previously the Chief Operating Officer for Perspective International, Steve provided oversight and contributed articles for the five regional vacation ownership trade magazines under the Perspective Magazine banner. With 34 years’ experience in various roles in radio and television, sales and marketing, public relations, media and government liaison initiatives, he brings a well-rounded outlook to our industry.