Since Hawaii officially reopened to visitors, the rules that apply to arrivals remain in a state of change, which, to say the least, can be challenging when planning a Hawaii vacation. To help, we try to keep this post updated as things change, so check again for more information. This was last updated on June 23, 2021.
Through July 7, those traveling to any Hawaii destination from the mainland are still required to have an approved COVID test from a “trusted partner” within 72 hours of travel.
There are no longer any requirements for either vaccination or testing in order to travel exclusively between the Hawaiian islands.
The state will implement its vaccination exemption for mainland visitors effective July 8.
Travel to Hawaii: COVID testing.
1. Testing will remain an option, even after the vaccination exemption has been implemented on July 8. For those not then fully vaccinated, or those ineligible by age or otherwise from vaccination, the following applies. You must test within 72 hours of a scheduled transpacific flight departure to Hawaii, and tests must be from one of the Hawaii-approved testing partners. Costs for testing are borne by travelers and can vary from free to $250 per person. See testing providers at the end of this post.
2. Hawaii requires NAAT/PCR testing only, and nothing else is acceptable. Also, the test source must be one of Hawaii’s trusted partners, not any lab, even when it is the correct test. The specific language in effect is as follows: “The state of Hawai‘i will ONLY accept Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from TRUSTED TESTING AND TRAVEL PARTNERS. A negative COVID-19 test result is required before departure to avoid quarantine in Hawaii.”
3. The minimum age for testing is age 5. All travelers 5 and above (not fully vaccinated effective July 8) must have a COVID-19 test and negative results through one of the state’s trusted testing partners. Note that some trusted testing partners test all ages, and others do not.
Follow the rules closely to avoid quarantine.
Hawaii is not flexible about those who don’t get test results on time, take the wrong test, or obtain them from the wrong source. The state does not make any exceptions. That same lack of flexibility will be the case regarding following the proof of vaccination rules too.
Should anything go awry, you could end up having to leave Hawaii or enter the mandatory quarantine of 10 days. However, don’t let that dissuade you as close to one million visitors per month are arriving successfully, and nearly all have been able to avoid problems. On the other hand, there are nightmare stories of those who took the wrong test, obtained it from the wrong source, or took it a day too early, ruining their expensive and long-planned Hawaii vacation.
Register for the Hawaii Safe Travels program.
1. All arrivals 18 and older need to register through the Hawaii Safe Travels online program. That is a mandatory requirement for both mainland and interisland travel is true whether you are fully vaccinated or not.
2. For those testing as a way to avoid quarantine, negative test results must be in hand as well as uploaded to the Safe Travels website before departure on your flight from the US mainland to Hawaii. If you have multiple flights, the within 72-hour timeframe is based on the last flight that ends with your landing in Hawaii.
3. For those fully vaccinated, these are the rules effective July 8:
- You can travel to Hawaii no sooner than the 15th day following completion of full vaccination.
- Upload one of three vaccination documents to their Safe Travels Hawai‘i account, prior to traveling to Hawai‘i.
- A CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.
VAMS (Vaccination Administration Management System) printout.
DOD DD Form 2766C.
- According to the state, the “Safe Travels digital platform is now allowing vaccine document uploads for trips arriving in Hawaiʻi on July 8 and beyond.”
- In order to qualify for the exemption, visitors must “Sign the online legal attestations on Safe Travels Hawaii, confirming the uploaded documentation is true and accurate.”
- A hard copy of vaccination documentation also needed. Visitors seeking the vaccination exemption must “bring a hard copy of their vaccination documentation to show screeners at the gate prior to boarding and/or upon arrival in Hawaii. Screeners will review/verify the vaccination documents, match photo IDs, name and DOB as well as confirm that the attestations are signed.
4. A mandatory health questionnaire must be added to your Safe Travels account within 24 hours before departure.
5. The QR code for your mainland to Hawaii flight will be required for presentation on arrival, as will the additional QR code for any connecting flight.
Hawaii-bound passengers of these airlines can have their testing results checked before departure instead of on arrival. In addition, your airline will verify your Safe Travels profile and provide you with a pre-clear wristband, which allows you to bypass airport arrival procedures in Hawaii. Visitors have uniformly raved about how much this has helped the process.
How does the Hawaii 10-day quarantine work?
For those considering quarantine, or just so you know what “hard-time” (as David B. called it) looks like, here are the rules:
- You must stay at your hotel (no vacation rentals allowed) except to leave for the airport or obtain emergency medical treatment.
- Food and other supplies will need to be delivered, and you will not be permitted to go out for shopping or any other errands.
- Any hotel space outside your room is also prohibited, including pools, restaurants, beaches, and gyms.
- Hotels will provide you with a one-time entry key so that you may not leave your accommodation and return.
- You are not permitted to rent a car while you are in quarantine.
- Violation of quarantine requirements can result in a fine of up to $5,000 or up to now a year in jail.
Travelers with stopovers in Hawaii.
If your flight requires you to stop in Honolulu (or Maui) before transiting to one of the other islands, the negative test within 72 hours of scheduled departure for Hawaii will be accepted to your final destination.
Tip: If you have an actual layover on Oahu or another island (i.e., you leave the airport) prior to June 15, you will have to adhere to the additional testing requirements before proceeding to any island other than Honolulu.
Read all the rules (link above) and see how to obtain an exemption to allow you to travel here if you’ve recovered from COVID within the past three months. To request an exemption, go here. The state says to please allow a week for processing
Hawaii trusted testing partners.
American Family Care (AFC)+
American Samoa Department of Health+
CityHealth Urgent Care+
Clarity Lab Solutions+
Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation+
CVS Health (ONLY www.cvs.com/selfpaytesting, not a different CVS website or walk-in)
Discovery Health MD
Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc. (DLS Guam)
Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services
GoHealth Urgent Care*+
Kaiser Permanente (members only)
UC San Diego Health+
University Medical Center of Southern Nevada+
University of Washington Medicine+
Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii
CVS Health/Longs Drugs (ONLY www.cvs.com/selfpaytesting, not a different CVS website or walk-in)
Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DLS)
Hawaii Pacific Health
Kaiser Permanente (members only)
National Kidney Foundation of Hawai‘i’s Consortium**+
S&G Labs Hawaii LLC
Urgent Care Hawaii
Oakland International Airport
Ontario International Airport
+/* See https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel-partners/.