Posted on August 27, 2021
The state of Hawaii is now advising travelers to avoid the Aloha State because of the impact the Delta variant of COVID is having on the state.
To date, no additional travel restrictions have been announced by state officials, so vacationers are still able to go to Hawaii and avoid quarantine if they are vaccinated or can show a negative COVID test. However, case levels are on the rise, with over 16,000 cases in August. This can’t be reassuring for Hawaii timeshare owners and guests when the state is telling people not to come.
The Mayor of Maui, Michael Victorino, is asking tourists to remain at their resorts during their stay while Hawaii Governor David Ige is suggesting possible lockdown measures if cases continue to rise. Ige hasn’t said what threshold would trigger lockdowns or business closures.
To be fair, the delta effect is putting a drag on the overall tourism recovery in the U.S. About one-third of American travelers are postponing trips due to the virus according to a survey by Longwoods International. This is up from about a quarter of travelers just two weeks ago, so this isn’t just a Hawaii event.
The irony is that Florida just announced visitation to the Sunshine State is almost back to 2019 levels, which shows how statistics can lag behind quickly changing events due to COVID.
During the second quarter of the year, nearly 32 million people visited Florida, only about 2 percent below pre-pandemic 2019 numbers during the same timeframe.
While this is great news for the timeshare industry, seeing that about a quarter of all U.S.-based timeshare resorts are in Florida, the stats are measured from April to June 30. It will be interesting to see how third-quarter numbers stack up when taking delta into account.
Cities, states and territories are increasing their reliance on the COVID vaccine for business and leisure activities, so timeshare owners should be aware of requirements when planning their trips.
Visitors to Puerto Rico will now need to show proof of vaccination in order to stay in accommodation if they are vaccinated. Unvaccinated travelers need to show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of entry and continue with weekly tests if they are staying longer than a week.
New York City has mandated that vaccinations are required for anyone going to restaurants or any indoor venues. As a result, Broadway has announced a vaccine requirement for anyone attending a show.
According to the order issued by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the order does not specifically include or exempt hotels or vacation accommodation, except for a mention of hotel gyms. Timeshare owners should contact their resort or management company to see if the order applies to New York City timeshare accommodation. The new rules will be enforced beginning in mid-September.
New Orleans and San Francisco have passed similar requirements. Meanwhile, resorts in the Mexico resort town of Mazatlán are now requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID test in order to stay in their accommodations.
While Cancun and the state of Quintana Roo have not mandated proof of vaccine or negative tests, it may only be a matter of time before this becomes required policy.
American citizens and residents can now travel to Canada for a vacation – as long as they are fully vaccinated. More than 70 percent of Canadians over 12 are fully vaccinated, so officials have opened up the country to the U.S. for leisure travel for the first time since March 2020.
Timeshare owners should still check with their exchange company and/or resort to make sure there are no issues, but it appears that travel to Canada is back on.
If you’re wondering whether you can get back into the States after leaving, yes, returning U.S. citizens and residents will be allowed back into the U.S. This is despite the U.S. ban on non-essential land border crossings being extended to September 21, since Americans returning to the U.S. is classified as essential travel.