Editor’s note: Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on January 4.
If you’re planning to travel to Hawaii, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hawaii has aligned its entry policy for international travelers with federal policy for air travelers that went effect on November 8, 2021, requiring international arrivals to be fully vaccinated and have a negative Covid-19 test result.
Since December 6, all inbound international travelers 2 and older are required to test within one day of departure for the United States, regardless of vaccination status. This does not affect domestic travel.
It’s part of a general tightening of US travel rules because of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Hawaii has ended its pre-travel testing and quarantine requirement for domestic travelers if they’ve been fully vaccinated for Covid-19 in the United States.
US visitors who aren’t fully vaccinated still must provide a negative Covid-19 test result from one of the state’s Trusted Travel Partners taken within three days of their flight’s departure for Hawaii to enter the state and bypass a mandatory five-day quarantine.
The previous quarantine had been 10 days, but this was changed on January 3, 2021. For travelers who are currently on their 10-day quarantine, if they’ve hit their five-day “mark” on January 3 or later, they will be released from quarantine after the fifth day, the state said in a news release.
What’s on offer
Spectacular surfing, sandy beaches, traditional Pacific culture and rugged volcanoes await Hawaii visitors. Hawaii’s geographical position and proud history make it unlike anywhere else in the United States.
Who can go
Fully vaccinated travelers are now allowed entry into the United States, including Hawaii.
As of November 8, unvaccinated travelers from abroad are no longer allowed, with very limited exceptions. Among those exceptions are unvaccinated children who are 17 and younger.
Americans are still allowed to travel to Hawaii, regardless of vaccination status.
What are the restrictions?
To enter the United States, being fully vaccinated is the key requirement for international travelers 18 and older, as well as a test taken before departing for Hawaii for all travelers 2 and older.
Travelers from the United States and its territories who choose not to participate in the Safe Travels program must quarantine for five days or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter.
Travelers from the United States and it territories who are fully vaccinated may enter Hawaii without pre-travel testing and quarantine. The vaccination record must be uploaded onto Safe Travels and printed out before departure. The traveler must have a hard copy in hand when arriving in Hawaii.
Beginning Tuesday, January 4, the completion of a health questionnaire before departure will no longer be required. Travelers who wish to be exempt from the five-day mandatory quarantine must submit the same documentation as is currently required.
All restrictions on intercounty travel have been lifted, meaning no pre-travel testing or quarantining is needed for travel between the Hawaiian islands.
What’s the Covid situation?
With roughly 123,500 cases and 1,095 deaths reported as of January 4, Hawaii has seen relatively low Covid numbers compared with other US states. It maintained some of the strictest travel measures of any state.
Hawaii began easing restrictions earlier this year, but the spread of the Delta variant over the summer spurred the state to once again tighten up on gathering sizes. Those have been loosened again.
Hawaii has seen cases of Covid-19 soar in the past two weeks to its highest levels of the pandemic with the spread of the Omicron variant.
What can visitors expect?
On December 1, statewide limits on social gatherings, restaurants, bars, gyms and other social establishments were lifted. Going forward, counties may impose their own limits. You can find out more details here.
The statewide indoor mask mandate remains in effect.
On the island of Oahu, Safe Access O’ahu eased some of its restrictions on December 1. They include:
— No restrictions on informal, noncommercial social gatherings.
— Businesses can operate at 100% capacity, but masks must be worn indoors and confirmation of vaccination or negative test results are required for all indoor fitness facilities and for all indoor and outdoor businesses where food or beverage is served.
Maui County issued new rules that started December 1 — click here for the full set of rules (PDF). Highlights include:
— Indoor social gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted.
— No limit on outdoor social gatherings.
— Indoor spaces such as restaurants, bars, gyms and indoor sporting events may operate at 100% capacity, but patrons 12 and older must provide proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test result.
Starting January 8, the following also go into effect in Maui:
— The definition of “fully vaccinated” will include a booster shot if eligible. The requirement for a booster does not apply to those who are younger than 16 for Pfizer and younger than 18 for Moderna.
— A completed vaccination card in original, photocopied, or digital form; the Hawaii SMART Health Card digital health pass; or other similar vaccination documentation from a healthcare provider are acceptable proof of vaccination.
— Indoor restaurants, bars and gyms will be mandated to require proof of “full vaccination” for entry. Without a vaccination card, patrons can still dine outside or order take-out.
Hawaii also has a statewide Malama Hawaii initiative that encourages visitors to give back to the destination.
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