Pre-Summer Guide to 2021 Hawaii Travel During COVID

Updated: Hawaii Travel Uncertainty Following The Weekend Of Omicron

Updated 11/29/21. What a crazy Thanksgiving weekend with travel and Covid back in the news once again, in a way none of us expected or wanted. And this comes nearly two full years after it all began. As commentor Pam just said, “Welcome to the twilight zone.”

Since Friday, changes have begun to impact travel, but thus far mostly as it relates to international travel. But that is not the end of it. With cases popping up globally, more travel and other Covid rule changes appear inevitable, and Hawaii travel won’t be excluded.

The speed with which all the Omicron news unfolded is head spinning. So too was its immediate impact on travel. And not only is it unnerving at many levels, but the direction in which this may go is entirely uncertain. From the fear of a new and potentially vaccine-avoiding variant to contrasting news this morning, wherein the head of the South African Medical Association said that the symptoms are generally mild, short-lived, and treatable at home. Then NIH concurred, saying there isn’t data to suggest Omicron causes worse illness than previous variants. Yet, it is unclear how fast it can spread and whether current vaccines will help.

Even Hawaii travel is no longer assured.

We were settling into some kind of better normalcy here in Hawaii travel. In less than three days, many of Hawaii’s Covid rules are set to be relaxed. But that was all before we learned Omicron.

Something became clear to us again; that travel assurance can turn on a dime. Our prior assumption that things will be more normal, like Hawaii travel plans, is simply no longer guaranteed.

Hawaii officials tried over the weekend to assure travelers and residents. So even as Japan closed it borders for now,  and WHO just said, “the overall global risk related to the (omicron variant) is assessed as very high.” Honolulu’s mayor said, however, “we have no reason whatsoever here in Hawaii to worry about that other than it just being a concern.” And Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor said “we really do not want to lock down again. We really do not want to restrict any activities. We really want to get back to normal.”

Hawaii travel during times of uncertainty: risks, rewards and key takeaways.

For many of us, travel has been on hold for what seems like a very long time. Recently, however, Hawaii travel has definitely been looking a lot easier and more promising. But now, there’s a wrench in the works. Here are some of the implications.

1. Travel insurance with cancel for any reason is at the top of our list going forward.

2. Hawaii deals will remain in focus for the foreseeable future, in part due to the travel uncertainty that has raised its head again. We feel certain that bookings are down and cancellations are up since Friday.

3. Flexibility is key. Reservations that can be modified easily at little or no cost make Hawaii travel much more appealing. Some examples are airfares that can be changed without penalty (on all but the cheapest tickets), accommodations that can be changed until close-in to Hawaii travel dates, and Hawaii car rentals or Turo rentals that can also be cancelled at the last minute without penalty.

How could the state of Hawaii react to Omicron?

1. It could change plans in terms of new rules set to start on December 1. We’ll know more about that in the next day or two.

2. If for any reason travel for those vaccinated were no longer to be deemed safe in the US, Hawaii could attempt to reinstate pre-travel testing for all passengers, in addition to vaccination. Thus far, Hawaii has not felt it could assert the need to resume travel testing since the CDC has taken the position that travel is safe for those fully vaccinated.

3. Further potential restrictions are possible but remain unclear at this time.

Does Omicron changes your Hawaii travel planning?


61 thoughts on “Updated: Hawaii Travel Uncertainty Following The Weekend Of Omicron”

  1. Come on. Why not just do like what Thailand does?! They immediately set out new rule of banning travelers from specific countries that have had the new variant cases and anyone else traveling from Africa countries will have to be quarantine for 14 days. That’s it and live on…the doctors even said Omicron isn’t as scary either.

  2. I have reservations in two weeks for Mona. I have cancelled two previous trips due to Covid precautions. Am really hoping that I will be able to make it there this time!
    Please keep everyone updated and safe.
    Thank you,

    1. we bought tickets to Hawaii in Dec.2019 to fly May 2020.We were forced to cancle our trip and could not rebook our flight till Nov 2021.we were told we had till march 31 or lose out.We had no choice but go. Cost us 500 more and prices were going up.make sure you stay on top of the airline you use.They make changes and do not tell you.We almost lost our tickets and had to go when we wernt ready.

  3. Wondering about safety of 5 or more hours in a plane? I suggest you google the Reuters article, “61 people test positive after arriving in Amsterdam”. That number was over 10% of the passengers and at least 13 cases are confirmed the new variant. When the president has a news conference to say don’t panic, maybe it is time to reconsider risks of travel.

  4. Would Love to go in May they June Birthday flight My Daughter and grandkids live there.They just moved there a year ago miss them very much(empty Nest thanks Chat🙄🙃🍓

  5. My family and I have a trip planned to Oahu at the end of February. I’m hoping nothing changes and we can still make this happen. We are all fully vaccinated and have been traveling. Hoping for the best🤞🏼

  6. I have secured and paid for a vegas trip for the end of January. If things get screwed up it could be possible that travel might be shut down? If we do go could we end up being stuck up there? Whoever is making these rules better wise up. Why make serious changes but say itll go into effect in w few days? If just one person gets in within that window all this shut downs wont make any sense. Now they say the vaccine might not work on this variant. Wish i never got the shots

    1. Aloha,
      If every one got the shot, the virus will not mutate, rich country’s should help poor country’s with vaccines this will never end due to misinformation, stay safe enjoy Vegas I think you should be good,I’m in the medical industry.

    2. Mr Mike B… To the contrary – they are saying that two shots plus the booster will definitely work against this variant. Don’t know your source but mine is the WHO and Dr Fauci (like him or not).

      1. Hello BARBARA M

        “… they are saying … .”

        “They” said:
        15 days;
        vaccinated can’t get COVID;
        vaccinated can’t spread virus;
        vaccine is two and done;
        vaccine last at least one year;
        vaccine last at least nine months;
        vaccine last maybe six months;
        vaccinate again now;
        there is no acquired immunity factor.

        “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
        – Stephen Hawking

        1. In medical science virtually nothing is static. The body changes, environmental changes, disease and treatment changes. Recommendations change. Bottom line is to prevent deaths, reduce community spread & hospitalizations. You can pay attention to those recommendations or be part of the 30% that “I really don’t care” what happens to others. You then become a candidate for the Darwin awards. As a healthcare provider you want to protect others, respond and change your treatments & recommends

          1. Good Day TERRANCE K

            Medicine as regards Covid-19 is having a large hole blown in its credibility. Partially by the promises and actions of politicians and partially by its own its arrogance.

            The problem you speak of is not so much with those of “I don’t care” as with the increasing numbers of “I no longer trust”. The result of a litany of contradictory statements and actions, and false promises made them.

            Misleading and uncorrected erroneous information is a virus unto itself.

  7. Aloha BOH Bro’s

    As of this post stock market is up across the board, oil prices are up and Moderna’s stock is up big, plus Biden has come out saying not to panic about Omicron variant.

    So I booked a killer cyber Monday deal for the Big Island in May…of course it’s a fully refundable trip.

  8. We will be leaving on Dec.14,Tuesday
    We are having a hard time scheduling our 72 hr test. CVS are saying they can’t guarantee if it would get back on time. What do you advise?

    1. Thanks for your comment! We’re traveling December 14’th as well. My understanding is that since we’re fully vaccinated (with booster) we don’t (right now) need a Covid test before flying to Hawaii.
      Am I wrong?
      Naturally that could change any hour.

      1. @ Vincent – Can you schedule a rapid antigen at Walgreens? That is typically returned in less than an hour. We did that in June and was accepted at Maui.

    2. I’ve waited 5 years to return to Hawaii to visit my family and friends. It’s very nerve wracking just waiting what Hawaii will do next. I’m leaving December 3, I’ve delayed this trip for a year cause of Covid. I’m filling out the required application tomorrow. So I hope December 1st, won’t disappoint me. Mahalo

      1. LMARIE… Not all Walgreens do Rapid Testing – in fact, the Walgreen’s site is not accurate as it shows some locations doing Rapid when in reality they don’t. Walgreen’s had not one location in our state that did Rapid. Now it shows they do but when you contact those locations, they don’t!!!

  9. We’ve got flight reservations for Hawaii , Jan22-Jan 29, 2022. Should I be concerned? We plan on taking our 9 year old grandson.

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