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Fast-Changing: Variants May Keep Hawaii #1 Through 2022

The rapid spread of the Delta variant has resulted in many iconic destinations reimposing more restrictions and raising fears about more travel rules ahead. It looks like this uncertainty will keep Hawaii the #1 Travel Pick through 2022. See our personal notes on this below.

Today visitor Judy, said about the Hawaii travel boon: “Americans are anxious to travel in 2021 because they didn’t get to last year. Choices of places to go are limited; Europe, Canada, Mexico, cruises, etc., all have traveling problems, and so, “Let’s go to Hawaii!”

Please tell us this: Are you rethinking your 2021/2022 travel plans? If so, let us know where Hawaii fits in. Mahalo.

If you’re heading anywhere other than Hawaii, do some research. We did, and it is getting complicated once again.

Beach destinations in Mexico, French Polynesia, and the Caribbean.

In the Caribbean, for example, most destinations will require PCR testing for arrivals (as is the case in Hawaii for fully vaccinated only through July 7). Some places, however, do not allow non-vaccinated travelers to enter at all.

There are no regulations on entering Mexico, so you will only require a negative PCR test to return to the US. However, Mexico has seen a doubling of new Covid cases in the past month, and the CDC says, “Because of the current situation in Mexico, all travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.”

Central American countries have a mix of changing regulations depending on whether or not travelers are vaccinated.

French Polynesia only allows fully vaccinated travelers to enter with a Covid test before departure and another one on arrival.

In addition, all passengers returning to the US from abroad will require PCR testing.

Europe, Australia, and Asia are complicated and getting more so. 

Slightly further afield from Hawaii, in Europe, Italy just lifted some controls, including its outdoor mask mandate. Portugal, however, has imposed a 14-day quarantine on some arrivals, and Spain will now require UK visitors to provide PCR tests. Greece, too will now require PCR testing of some arrivals, based on which vaccine they received. Moreover, Germany wants tightened rules of entry to the entire 26-country European Schengen area.

In Asia, Thailand has just gone into regional lockdown, Malaysia reversed plans last minute to extend its nationwide shutdown, and Hong Kong banning travelers from the UK.

Australia’s borders are closed. The only travelers allowed are its citizens, permanent residents, and immediate family members. Before COVID, your editors traveled to Australia often and were last there 90 days before Covid struck, never thinking what was ahead.

Hawaii a standout for US travelers: On Track To Reopen Next Week.

All this while Hawaii To End Testing July 8 For Those Vaccinated. Fully vaccinated arrivals (those vaccinated in the U.S.) will not require any testing, quarantine, or other travel restrictions in either direction. July 8 appears to be a date certain, as set by Governor Ige, and we do not expect any modification to that plan. Lt. Gov. Josh Green confirmed today that there has been no discussion about any possibility of that date being changed.

Our frequent commenter, Alfred from Oahu, said, “Global policies such as requiring a negative test result to return to the United States when traveling overseas. The fear of being stuck in a third world county when testing positive for COVID and having most of Europe and Asia being closed to outside visitors is really driving traffic to Hawaii.”

Jim, another regular, added, “You may feel that where you live is “back to normal,” but 14 mostly Midwestern states and now Europe are demonstrating that the pandemic is far from over.”

Your editors’ take.

Back in April, we shared that travel was returning to at or above pre-Covid levels. And predicting a massive summer rebound.

One study said there was “Unprecedented optimism from leisure travelers in advance of the summer travel season.” And that pretty much describes in a nutshell where things are at.

That study said that safety was integral to demand, and once again, that nails it. They said, “The top states of interest among U.S. travelers over the next two years are Hawaii (64%).” That is followed by Florida, California, Colorado, and Alaska.

In April’s study, only 19% of leisure travelers planned an international trip within the next six months. That, together with all of the new Delta variant changes since then is yet another big plus for domestic yet exotic Hawaii travel.

Personally, we would both like to travel abroad again, but plan on waiting until at least mid-2022, based on all this uncertainty and changeability. Who wants to play with all these variables if you don’t need to. So for us, Europe will need to wait for now.

Read: Updated Guide to 2021/2022 Hawaii Travel During COVID.

49 thoughts on “Fast-Changing: Variants May Keep Hawaii #1 Through 2022”

  1. We originally made plans to visit Hawaii in May 2020. Once Covid raised it’s ugly head, we canceled those plans and rebooked for October 2020, assuming things would be fine by then. Sadly, we were wrong so we canceled those plans and rebooked for May 2021. Covid was still making it difficult to travel so we canceled those plans and rebooked for October 2021. In fact, if things went as planned, we would be there now. Unfortunately, with some of our reserved events having been canceled, we decided to cancel once again and are now rebooked for May 2022. I hope and pray we make it to Hawaii in May 2022! This will be our first trip to Hawaii and we really want to experience all Hawaii has to offer!

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