We found a series of unusual videos on TikTok today by a couple of young women who discovered firsthand what happens for not following Hawaii COVID protocol. In the end, they did make it to Hawaii and are quarantine-free. But that didn’t happen without tremendous difficulty and additional expense. Below is what transpired, followed by their videos (caution: swearing).
In an unrelated incident, a quarantined Hawaii wedding couple said of their island experience, “It’s like being in prison.” They came to Hawaii for their honeymoon, and the couple was both fully vaccinated and had obtained negative test results. They claimed that the airline told them their tests would exempt them from quarantine, so they boarded and flew off to the islands. That’s when the trouble began. On arrival, they were told that the test they took was not accepted as it was a rapid antigen test instead of a PCR/NAAT type test. The Hawaii-approved pharmacy said that it is up to the customer to determine the correct test. In the end, they were miserable here, and unable to do anything to dissuade the state regarding their mandatory quarantine.
And lastly, in yet another bizarre Hawaii COVID travel story, we learned about a couple who flew to Hawaii to be married recently. Unfortunately, they also did not have the right test from a Hawaii trusted partner. And, as a result, they ended up in quarantine. Rather than return to the mainland for testing as these two TikTok women did, this couple chose to remain in quarantine in Hawaii.
Now, back to the young women in the lead story. They had planned a vacation in Honolulu and on Maui. But, unfortunately, what happened didn’t go exactly as planned.
1. The two took a test from a non-Hawaii trusted partner where they live in Raleigh, North Carolina.
2. They flew first from Raleigh to Atlanta, then onward to Honolulu. It appears no one told them there was going to be a very serious problem when they arrived in Hawaii. (Important point here, the traveler is entirely responsible for meeting Hawaii entry requirements during COVID).
3. On arrival in Honolulu, officials notified the pair that they did not have tests that could be approved for exemption from quarantine, which left the only choice as a mandatory one for 10-days.
4. Rather than spend 10-days in quarantine jail, the two decided to leave Hawaii immediately and booked the next flight they could for California. They spent more than 24 hours seeking their testing exemption before returning to Honolulu.
5. On arrival in Los Angeles, they went straight to a nearby COVID test facility that was approved as a Hawaii trusted partner.
6. They had a flight back to Honolulu late in the day, but with COVID tests in hand, they were able to get on a standby flight and get to Hawaii much earlier.
7. Sara and Abbey are now in Honolulu, with a hard-to-secure Hawaii car rental, and appear to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. They posted one of their videos at Waimanalo Beach, pictured here.
8. Next week, they plan to travel to Maui for the remainder of their vacation. Before they leave for Maui, we hope they know that they will need to test again before departure. They may, however, be exempted from the second on-arrival test on Maui since they are fully vaccinated. That is if they have proof of vaccination with them.
9. Relive their Hawaii COVID travel adventure on TikTok.
10. Do you have any Hawaii COVID travel stories to share?