Aloha Is A Real Law In Hawaii

Hawaii Travel Rules To Ease As COVID Numbers Decline Rapidly?

On Friday, Hawaii’s Governor Ige had a press conference at which he announced extended orders and other rules important to visitors. But not so fast. There’s much more to the story. And let’s just say that visitor arrivals, the Hawaii travel industry stakeholders, and the state’s COVID numbers all appear to be on a somewhat different trajectory than the Governor. And one island plans to change up some things even this week.

Governor Ige asks visitors to continue to stay away from Hawaii, for now.

On Friday, Ige asked that visitors continue to postpone Hawaii vacations at least through the end of November. Ige said he is working with Hawaii’s travel stakeholders to encourage tourism again once COVID numbers trend down lower. The governor first suggested that Hawaii visitors “stay away” on August 23.

Among other rules, the current indoor mask mandate will continue through November. So too will Hawaii Safe Travels rules requiring vaccination or proof of negative COVID test before Hawaii travel.

The governor continues to be concerned about Hawaii’s average daily case count, which he said at that time was still above 300. Today, however, that number is 259 over the past 14-days, and today’s count was only 195 cases statewide. In August the average number was approaching 1,000.

The rapid decline in cases and other data in Hawaii could even result in further changes. But the governor didn’t allude to that, and so it is just our speculation at this time.

Furthermore, having withdrawn his prior suggestion that at 70% vaccinated, the State would drop its Covid travel restrictions, the governor said there are no longer specific metrics he is considering in that regard. Ige said, “the response that I got from the professionals is that they could not see a single metric that would be appropriate to trigger action to either restrict or expand or release restrictions.”

BOH: Clarity of policies and consensus-building have never been strong points here in Hawaii. How is it where you live?

Hawaii travel industry and visitors don’t concur with the governor’s request.

The Hawaii travel industry has continued to promote Hawaii tourism without regard to the governor’s request, which came without any enforcement. There have been widespread Hawaii airfare sales from every airline that serves Hawaii and those will continue. And it isn’t just the airlines.

Visitors are flocking to Hawaii in significant numbers. While those numbers are down somewhat from 2019 (the last useful comparison year), they are still significant, with Hawaii seeing well north of 15,000 domestic arrivals daily, per the State’s arrivals chart below.

Hawaii domestic passenger arrivals

Could restrictions be lifted sooner than currently planned?

Even since the governor’s announcement last Friday, Hawaii Covid numbers have declined. So, it is possible that changes could occur sooner than later. Ige said, “the industry did let me know that it does take time to ramp up. They would like at least two weeks notice ahead of any significant change.”

Honolulu rule changes are planned starting this week.

On Oahu, where the Safe Access Oahu vaccination passport was initiated last month, changes are afoot. Mayor Rick Blangiardi plans this week to reduce the curfew requirements he previously spearheaded.

Alcohol service has been stopped with a 10 pm curfew since the new program began. Oahu plans to change that to be 12 midnight. Normally Oahu serves alcohol until 2 am.

According to the Hawaii Restaurant Association, Oahu restaurants have seen a nearly 50% drop in revenue since the implementation of the latest rules.

Oahu and Maui vaccination passport issues.

Restaurants on both Oahu and Maui are responsible for monitoring that customers follow the latest rules requiring vaccination or testing within the past 48-hours. It hasn’t been easy as customers aren’t always happy to comply with those demands and restaurant staff are challenged.

Maui’s rules are slightly different from Honolulu’s since guests on Maui who do not comply can eat outside. Both sets of regulations reduced restaurant and bar capacity to 50%, however.

30 thoughts on “Hawaii Travel Rules To Ease As COVID Numbers Decline Rapidly?”

  1. While Governor Ige frets over Hawaii’s travel rules the vaccines just turned over another new card.

    “A study published on Monday in The Lancet medical journal found that the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine fell below 50 percent after about six months after the second dose. …

    Researchers determined that the waning immunity had to do with the amount of time since an individual was given the second shot rather than due to the highly infectious delta strain.” …

    The preprint study found that the vaccine’s effectiveness reached a peak of 96.2 percent within two months after the second dose, with the shot’s effectiveness found at the time to decrease by about 6 percentage points every two months afterwards.”

    Choi J. (4 Oct 2021). Study shows Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness declines after six months. THE HILL,

    We are now at least 8 months into the first becoming fully vaccinated and time moves forward. Also this week we learned variants show increased penetration of vaccines.

    Governor Ige appears to be content to continue to sell Hawaii’s blood to support a bet on his vaccine requirements. Meanwhile, new data this week shows the virus just drew at least two new high cards.

    Indeed an interesting high stakes game.

  2. I live on Kauai and am visiting Florida and Kentucky. So much freedom here! Not surprised Ige is retracting his 70% relaxing of rules.

  3. Aloha Beat of Hawaii,
    I find your news the most unbiased of any news I read. So please publish this information.
    Look at covid case rates after the travel testing requirement ended 7/6/2021 & see how the Hawaii infection rates doubled weekly. Testing is the only sure way to prevent asymptomatic covid cases out of Hawaii. The vaccine doesn’t protect against infection nor transmission, it is only a symptom suppression vaccination to keep you out of the hospital. I can forward you many articles demonstrating how many “breakthrough” cases there are, as many as 28.7% of all recent reported new covid cases. Please contact me so I can provide more information. One of the most successful methods of keeping covid cases low in Hawaii is to reinstate negative covid test results prior to boarding a flight to Hawaii. Aloha, David W

    1. Hi DAVID W

      I think you are correct. But I also think it won’t work.

      First, there are legal issues.

      Secondly, and I think strongest, is the overall weariness of the public with restrictive anti-COVID measures. The proffered message regarding the benefits of these has simply become too distorted. After a while the numbers just run together into a loop of meaningless statistical data causing a relevance crash. I also think the continual orders to the public of “run here, do this; now over there, do that” has worn their patience somewhat thin.

      There is just a tiredness in the people with all of this. For good or bad, they are increasingly moving on beyond it.

    2. I agree! until ALL travelers are required to test negative 72 hours before departure the state of Hawaii will never get a handle on this… Negative test results forALL vaccinated or Not!!

  4. I am looking forward to my trip to Maui on Wednesday. No problems with safe travels app. Was on big island in July. Just have to have patience and live on island time. No rush or hurry. I enjoy talking to locals each visit. I realize they have same problems as mainland. Shortages of employees, and sometimes consumer goods. Folks have to realize it’s not business owner’s fault. Visitors have to be respectful of all the issues. Relax, chill, and enjoy the islands.
    Mahalo and Aloha,🤙 See you Wednesday!

  5. Aloha, Interesting that studies show the number one industry with the highest infection rate is Construction! Hmmmmh! “Essential” Union Industry virtually unscathed by the pandemic thanks to the “essential” designation! May I respectfully suggest to all principled residents of Hawaii to contact their legislators and senators and demand that they conduct an “emergency” session and strip this incompetent fool of his “emergency” power. After 18 months of incompetent handling of the pandemic, and picking winners and losers based on his definition of “essential”, this is long overdue. Where is the “all jobs matter” movement when we need it?

  6. BOH: Clarity of policies and consensus-building have never been strong points here in Hawaii. How is it where you live?

    Policy development and execution here in Georgia works pretty much in this manner.

    The experts come – advise, counsel, recommend, receive large checks – then the experts go away.
    The people pay scant attention to this.
    The politicians in Atlanta stir the entrails, consult the stars, make numerous wind checks, then issue their policy.
    The people consider the policy – usually very quietly.
    The bulk of the people either adhere to the policy or they don’t.
    When it is obvious that enough of the people view the policy as suspect and aren’t going to adhere, the policy will become very quiet and fade from view.

    We are a state with a long agricultural history. Almost all of us little citizens know you can lead the biggest of bulls (or politicians) where you want him if you walk up to him very calm and quietly and then quickly pinch and hold him in the nose (or in the case of our state politicians – the wallet) before he can move away.

  7. Hawaii is a “comedy” that keeps getting funnier. I have taken my family to Maui many times over the years. Unfortunately, due to the wild and crazy laws that sometimes change daily due to COVID-19, I will never visit the islands again. Sad but true. Sorry

      1. Hi S.O.

        I read your comment to Paulie S. and it posed a question. As a potential visitor, I’m hoping you can help me out.

        I’ll ask up front you pardon my lack of knowledge regarding the native Hawaiian language.

        Is your statement the translation of the world recognized “Aloha” or some other word? I wouldn’t want to come there and embarrass anyone.

  8. My sister- and brother-in-law and I just returned home from 3 days on Kauai and 6 days on Oahu. We’d waffled back and forth for a month about whether to cancel our trip or go for it. Would we be a health threat? Would we be more likely to fall ill? We were going to see family and friends, not to be tourists, and were very careful. It turned out to be a good time to go. Rental car prices were less than half than originally booked in April. Flights were anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3 full. We were cautious by seeing only one or two persons or one family group at a time and mostly visited outdoors. Did not visit with an unvaccinated cousin or the family recovering from a cold (not COVID). Ate at only a couple of restaurants, otherwise in family backyards or take-out or cook-our-own. On Oahu, I personally was more comfortable knowing that diners had to have proof of vaccination.
    The only hiccup was checking in to lodging in Honolulu. We no longer had our wristbands from the airline on. I thought the QR code was sufficient and had printed them out, but the entire Safe Travels record for each showing green check marks for “screened” and “exempt” were required. With a senior sans smartphone and not knowing his email password to access the verification code sent by the Safe Travels site, checking in was a challenge. But, thankfully, the hotel was able to call Safe Travels to verify.
    Given all I’ve heard that visitors have not been the driving force behind the COVID numbers, I think the governor is unnecessarily hurting the Hawaiian economy by extending the “don’t come” request.
    Thank you BOH for your updates. They helped me make an informed decision NOT to cancel our trip. Apologies for the length of this post!

    1. Where does it show a green checkmark? I’ve done the safe travels, uploaded proof of vaccine, but there is no checkmark. Does it show up after questionnaire the day before? I also filled out CLEAR and linked that….that does show a checkmark. We go in November and want to have everything correct.

      1. Once you complete the questionnaire within 24 hours of departure, log into your Safe Travels account and it will show your QR code and checkmarks for “screened” and “exempt”, but they will be red. I believe they go from red to green once you’ve gone through the airline and received your wristband or have gone through screening upon arrival at the airport in Hawaii. The lodgings want to see that page with green checkmarks either printed out or on your smartphone. Our first lodging accepted the wristbands (still attached to our wrists) as proof that we were screened and exempt.
        I don’t know how it works with CLEAR.

        Enjoy your trip, Lois!

  9. It is fascinating to watch Hawaii sacrifice much of its economic well being at the alter of vaccine cards. While the Hawaiian government scrambles to vaccinate the people of Hawaii, all the while barricading the gates against the unwashed would dare travel to the islands, the wheels of the vaccine wagon continue to loosen and threaten to fall off as regards vaccines as a short term solution to Hawaii’s COVID problems.

    A very recent University of California study conducted in San Francisco reveals:

    “Variants with antibody-resistant mutations are playing an ever-larger role in our highly vaccinated region’s pandemic, according to research by prominent virologist Dr. Charles Chiu. …

    The study suggests that new iterations of the virus will likely become even more resistant, over time, “until, eventually, you’re going to see the vaccine not work, or its efficacy will be reduced significantly,” he said”

    The new study found that the proportion of cases caused by these variants increased over five months from 40% to 89%”.

    Ultimately, we will control this pandemic by vaccinating as many people as possible, Chiu said.

    The study may be found at: Krieger, L. (2021, August 27). New UCSF study: Vaccine-Resistant Viruses Are Driving ‘Breakthrough’ COVID Infections. The Mercury News,

    Apparently, the only way to solve this is to accelerate our plan to vaccinate the world. None are safe until we are all safe. Vaccinating (2 doses) 70% of the world’s population requires 11 billion doses be administered.

    How long? Best estimates range from late 2022 until 2024/25 for the 70% completion (no boosters).

    All of this suggest Hawaii’s pending changes are perhaps just the yo-yo reaching the bottom of its string.

  10. So cases went up when they stopped testing and went down when they stopped coming turns out it wasn’t the locals after all what a suprise.

  11. Have ate out 3 times in 2 weeks. Only 1 establishment asked for Vax card and ID. They also made sure we knew they would ask when we called to reserve a table.

      1. Aloha BOH Bros, Did you get my picture yet? Just checking in. Stay safe & God bless you….😇🌺🌈🌞🕶🏖🛍👒🛩🥥🍍😍🐢🐠🩴🏝🌊🎉

    1. Hello Richard.

      Erratic indeed.

      Travel to Hawaii has become similar to the tables in Las Vegas. You pay your money, you take your chance.

      Someone should open up a odds line on Hawaiian travel.

    1. Dear Heather, The islands have dropped restrictions traveling to & from 🏝. Hawaii has a website that you can read all the information about covid. Stay safe! God bless you 😇🍍🥥🌺🌺🌈🌞🕶🏖🛍👒🛩

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top