Hawaii COVID Testing

Hawaii COVID-19 Test Requirements

Including Hawaii's Pre-Travel Test Procedures & Rules

Official Pre-Travel Testing Program now allows the bypass of quarantine

Last Updated: January 23, 2021, at 9:30 pm HST

Hawaii's pre-travel testing program has now effectively opened up the islands to visitors, as long as they bring along proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a state-approved trusted testing partner and complete a State Dept. of Agriculture paper form (which is distributed on all flights) prior to arrival within the state.

Travelers who, upon entry into the state, provide written confirmation from a state-approved COVID-19 testing facility of a negative test result from a test administered to the traveler within 72 hours from the final leg of departure, will be able to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory quarantine order. Additionally, as of November 24, 2020, travelers wishing to bypass the 10-day mandatory quarantine must have their negative COVID-19 test results - from a trusted testing partner - prior to departure for the State of Hawaii. See our Hawaii Testing Details section for more information.

Currently, all transpacific travelers arriving on Kauai are subject to the 10-day quarantine regardless of testing. Additionally, at this time, inter-county travelers to Kauai are allowed to participate in the state of Hawaii's Safe Travels program and be exempt from the 10-day travel quarantine with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no less than 72 hours before intercounty travel. This is only for inter-county travel and does not apply to any trans-pacific travel. The Kauai "Enhanced Movement Quarantine" (EMQ) or 'Resort Bubble' program is also now available to trans-pacific travelers. See our Hawaii Travel Restrictions page for additional details.

Effective January 19, 2021, a mandatory contact tracing requirement goes into effect for all travelers from both the mainland and interisland to Maui. All travelers to Maui, beginning January 19th, must download the AlohaSafe Alert App on their mobile phone. Failure to do so will result in a mandatory 10-day quarantine period. See our Hawaii Travel Restrictions page and the Maui Special Notice section for additional information.

Editor's Note...

We recognize that the official rollout of the pre-travel testing program has been a bit confusing, with ongoing rule/policy changes, new partners being added/updated, and we are doing our best to keep abreast of official updates. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and provide additional updates from official state sources, as they become available to us on this page. Travelers may also want to sign up for our weekly email updates that we're currently sending about the status of Hawaii's reopening.

Starting in mid-January 2021, we've also enabled commenting on select articles (including this one). Feel free to ask your related travel questions in the comments section below.

We've recently additionally created a new page dedicated to the day-by-day updates that are occurring with Hawaii's reopening process: Hawaii COVID-19 Travel News & Headlines →

John Derrick
Published on: 01-23-2021
Published by: John C. Derrick
Editor / Founder

Hawaii COVID-19 Testing Details

Trans-pacific pre-arrival test details

Hawaii Testing Procedures, Rules, & Protocols

  • A "state-approved COVID-19 test" means a test to determine the presence of active COVID-19 infection that has been approved for use under these rules by the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).
  • Currently approved is the processing by laboratories that are licensed or certified by Clinical Laboratories Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of specimens for nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) testing approved or authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), pursuant to an Emergency Use Authorization or other authorization for COVID-19 testing. At this time, the state of Hawaii will ONLY accept tests from Trusted Testing & Travel Partners.
  • To reiterate, this test result must be confirmed prior to arrival in Hawaii, and the visitor must present evidence of this test upon arrival. 
  • Travelers wishing to bypass the 10-day mandatory quarantine must have their negative COVID-19 test results, from a trusted testing partner, prior to departure for the state of Hawaii. If test results are not available before boarding the final leg of the trip, the traveler must quarantine for 10 days or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter. Previously, if the results were not available upon arrival at a Hawaii airport, a traveler simply needed to wait for their negative result to come in before they could be released from quarantine. This is no longer the case as of November 24th.
  • Travelers who cannot are unable to provide a negative test result certification, prior to departure, for each member of their party will be required to quarantine for 10-days. See our Hawaii Travel Requirements and Hawaii Travel Restrictions articles for more information.
  • A second test may be required depending on which island(s) travelers visit. Please see the testing news & updates section below.
Hawaii Airlines Rules & Protocols

Pre-Travel Test - What to do with your results...

  • Once a traveler receives their negative pre-travel test result, from a trusted partner, they will need to upload the result to their Safe Travels Hawaii account at: travel.hawaii.gov. This step is crucial, as it will be the only means for airport officials to verify a traveler's Safe Travel Hawaii information upon their arrival in Hawaii.
  • Upon completion of the Safe Travels form, a QR code will be emailed to the traveler for each leg of their trip.
  • Upon deplaning in Hawaii,  travelers will be asked to present their QR code to airport personnel either on paper or on their mobile phone, along with a legally valid photo ID.
  • As noted above, travelers wishing to bypass the 10-day mandatory quarantine must have their negative COVID-19 test results, from a trusted testing partner, prior to departure for the state of Hawaii. If test results are not available before boarding the final leg of the trip, the traveler must quarantine for 10 days or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter.

State of Hawaii Travel & Health Form - Mandatory for all Travelers

  • Travelers will receive a notice 24-hours prior to their departure time to the Hawaiian Islands to complete the Mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health Form via their Safe Travels Hawaii account.
  • The names of each child/children, under the age of 18, traveling with an adult registering will also need to be included in that adult's Mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health Form.
  • Upon each traveler's completion of the Mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health Form, a QR code will be emailed to them. Airport personnel will need the QR code to locate and validate each traveler's Safe Travels Hawaii information upon their arrival in Hawaii.

Hawaii Airlines and Airport Rules & Protocols

While travelers are in-flight or deplaning, they must follow the guidance of their air carrier with regard to physical distancing, mask-wearing, and sanitation processes.

  • Travelers are reminded to pack their masks and/or facial coverings in their carry-on luggage. All travelers are required to wear a mask at all Hawaii airports.
  • If travelers are subject to Hawaii's 10-day mandatory self-quarantine, they must continue wearing a mask until in the room of their confirmed place of lodging. Removal of face masks is allowed for young children and individuals with health conditions preventing them from wearing one.
  • All incoming trans-Pacific Hawaii travelers will receive temperature checks upon arrival. Temperature scans will be taken via thermal temperature screening.
  • Photos will be temporarily retained only for persons with elevated temperatures of 100.4 degrees F and above for identification and additional assessments by airport representatives.

Testing Timeline Example

When Should You Take The Test?

Remember, you must take your pre-travel test 72 hours from the final leg/city of departure before arriving in Hawaii. You must then ensure you receive your negative result prior to departure for Hawaii. As an example, we've included a 72-hour timeline chart to help visualize this.

Typically, many flights to Hawaii will arrive in the evening hours, which means they will depart from the last major continental U.S. city ('final leg of departure') sometime between 3 pm and 7 pm PST. For example, a flight that departs from Oakland International Airport (OAK) at 4:30 pm PST on Monday, means you need to take the test anytime after 4:30 pm PST (7:30 pm EST) on Friday.

Don't worry about what time it is in Hawaii (HST) when getting the test, you simply need to take the test 72-hours before departing the final city to Hawaii (typically PST); so if anything - worry about the timezone of your final continental U.S. airport and/or the timezone of where you take the test.

Example Departure & Test Times

  • Flight departs at 4:30 pm PST on Sunday - Take the COVID-19 pre-travel test anytime After 4:30 pm PST (7:30 pm EST) on Thursday
  • Flight departs at 4:30 pm PST on Monday - Take the COVID-19 pre-travel test anytime After 4:30 pm PST (7:30 pm EST) on Friday
  • Flight departs at 4:30 pm PST on Tuesday - Take the COVID-19 pre-travel test anytime After 4:30 pm PST (7:30 pm EST) on Saturday
  • Flight departs at 4:30 pm PST on Wednesday - Take the COVID-19 pre-travel test anytime After 4:30 pm PST (7:30 pm EST) on Sunday
  • Flight departs at 4:30 pm PST on Thursday - Take the COVID-19 pre-travel test anytime After 4:30 pm PST (7:30 pm EST) on Monday
  • Flight departs at 4:30 pm PST on Friday - Take the COVID-19 pre-travel test anytime After 4:30 pm PST (7:30 pm EST) on Tuesday
  • Flight departs at 4:30 pm PST on Saturday - Take the COVID-19 pre-travel test anytime After 4:30 pm PST (7:30 pm EST) on Wednesday

Testing Options

How to Get Tested near your Location

Testing Performed by the Airlines

  • The state of Hawaii has partnered with several airlines/airports to provide pre-travel testing to Hawaii. The airlines themselves are not individually performing the tests but have instead partnered with local labs in their main West Coast hubs who offer flights directly to Hawaii. However, this option really only works well for travelers who can get tested before arriving at the respective airport, as anyone with a connecting flight would have to leave security (and possibly drive away from the airport) to get tested.
  • Currently, the only in terminal option for testing is at San Francisco Airport (SFO) but you will likely pay a hefty amount for the convenience, about $250 per traveler. Additionally, Hawaiian Airlines has announced it is offering drive-thru testing to its passengers departing from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), but the test site is located 10 miles from the airport, so that option again will not work for travelers with connecting flights.

Drive-Up/Through Testing

  • Drive-up testing offers convenience in that you can schedule ahead of time and subsequently have the test results in-hand within the hour.
  • For any travelers who live in a major city, there are typically several options for taking the test. There are several trusted pharmacy partners who you can make appointments online to schedule a time to visit a partnering location - CVS, Walgreens, Bartell Drugs, or any other trusted lab partner who is certified to administer the Hawaii pre-travel test.
  • Unfortunately, for those who live in rural areas away from an Interstate Highway, this option is not ideal and may require several hours of driving.

Supervised At-Home Testing Kits

  • In our opinion, this method may offer the most convenience to travelers. After requesting and receiving the test from a participating trusted test provider, a trained medical professional will watch you, typically via a Zoom (or similar) call, take the testing sample to ensure you are performing the test correctly and that there is no subsequent tampering with the kit. After you perform the test, you'll seal it up, put it back into the envelope, and drop it in the mail (sometimes it has to be a UPS store; so be sure to carefully follow your testing provider's instructions) to be sent overnight to the testing lab. Within 2-3 days (48-72 hours) you will have your results digitally so that you can upload them to the Safe Travels application. Like many others, we are personally recommending Vault as the results are supervised, and mailing the results into the lab is simple. Additionally, you can order individual tests for each member of your travel party. Be sure to order your test from the site with plenty of time (a week is typically sufficient) before your flight departs.
  • Please be aware that there are at-home testing kits that are not-supervised and they will not be accepted by the Hawaii Department of Health officials. Beware of at-home kits that require you to visit a specific location to perform the test.
Hawaii Testing Updates by Island

Latest Testing Updates & News

Including updates per Hawaii county/island

Trans-Pacific Pre-Travel Test + Post-Travel Testing

As of right now, the Governor and Lt. Gov. have both confirmed that only a single test will be needed to initially bypass the quarantine requirement at the statewide level (the trans-Pacific test), and this test MUST be from a trusted partner! However, depending on which island you visit, there may be additional post-arrival testing required. We've included details on each county/island below for clarification.

Big Island of Hawaii to perform a post-arrival rapid antigen test

Big Island Mayor Harry Kim has said that trans-Pacific travel to the Big Island of Hawaii will require a two-test plan where travelers who participated in the state's pre-arrivals testing program will additionally need to take a free rapid post-arrival test at the airport after arrival. Currently, that test is performed upon arrival, but the county is considering offering it four days after arrival instead, potentially at one of three testing sites (in Hilo, Kona, and the Kohala Coast). If a traveler fails the test, the Mayor said they would be administered a separate PCR test and subsequently have to quarantine where they have reservations, either until the test comes back negative or they recover from COVID-19.

Beginning December 2nd, the Big Island will begin testing all incoming trans-Pacific travelers for COVID-19.

Maui to perform a second post-arrival test

Maui is participating in a voluntary second post-arrival test, also administered within 72-hours after arrival, and it will be free of charge. Governor Ige has also now verbally agreed to permit Maui residents to travel between Maui, Molokai, or Lanai without having to quarantine or be subjected to the pre-travel testing program. Inter-island travelers to Maui will need to take an inter-island pre-test 72-hours before departure.

Kauai currently requires mandatory quarantine with 'resort bubbles'

Currently, all transpacific and intercounty travelers arriving on Kauai are subject to the 10-day quarantine regardless of testing

  • Emergency Rule 23 temporarily pauses Kauai's participation in the state's pre-travel testing program. Read the full press release here.
  • The pre-travel testing program remains in place for all other counties in Hawaii.
  • In late December 2020, Governor Ige approved Kauai Mayor Kawakami's request to implement a pre-and-post-travel testing program for visitors who stay in "resort bubble" hotels. It will allow travelers who participate in the program to enjoy the resort amenities for the first three days of their vacation until they are eligible to take their post-travel test. Once the post-travel test shows they are COVID-free, they will be released from quarantine and can leave the "resort bubble." See our Hawaii Travel Restrictions page for additional information, including which resorts are participating in the program.
Oahu additionally working to develop a second post-arrival test

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell previously announced that Oahu is also looking to develop a second, random post-arrival test for travelers to the island. This random post-arrival test would theoretically be administered four days after the traveler's arrival, but this plan is not currently in place. More details are forthcoming...

Updates on inter-island travel...

We've recently updated the rules regarding island-island travel, including testing rules, and the new pre-travel testing for interisland flights, in our Hawaii Travel Restrictions - Inter-island FAQ →

Additionally, we've recently updated this page below to include the newly announced trusted inter-island pre-travel partners →

Hawaii Trusted Testing Partners

Who are the trusted pre-travel testing partners?

Hawaii Testing Partners & Costs

Governor Ige and the Lt. Governor have officially confirmed, during multiple press conferences, the trusted travel partners for visiting Hawaii. Due to the size of the list, and the number of new partners being added, we have now moved the list of trusted partners to their own page.

Inter-island pre-travel test information

Inter-island pre-travel test details

Traveling Rules between islands in Hawaii

  • Travelers flying inter-island to Maui or the Big Island of Hawaii may bypass the mandatory 10-day quarantine if they take an FDA-authorized Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from the certified CLIA lab not sooner than 72-hours prior to departure with a negative test result.
  • Inter-island travelers will be able to upload their negative test results when they complete their travel and health forms on the 'Safe Travels' digital system: travel.hawaii.gov. The traveler must have the test result with them upon arrival so airport screeners can review the result.
  • Travelers arriving on Maui or the Big Island of Hawaii who choose not to take an inter-island pre-travel test, or who do not arrive with a negative test from an inter-island trusted testing partner, will be subject to the 10-day inter-county quarantine.
  • A second test may be required depending on which island(s) travelers visit, please see the testing news & updates section below.

Post-Arrival Testing Program Pilot

During the press conference held by the Governor and Lt. Governor in early October, a pilot post-arrival testing program was announced. The post-arrival testing plan would include surveillance testing to help discover additional cases of the COVID-19 disease.

It was announced during the press conference that roughly 10% of all arrivals will be randomly re-tested, including children. Based on the information we've received thus far, this test would be voluntary to travelers - though that detail is not finalized. This pilot post-arrival test would take place approximately four days after the traveler's arrival. In a follow-up press conference, the Lt. Governor announced this testing program would be free.

Safe Travels Program in Hawaii

Safe Travels Application

Required for all Travelers

  • The new online Safe Travels application is now mandatory for all travelers. The application can be found visiting travel.hawaii.gov
  • This program, which collects the required health and travel information, is critical to protecting the health of residents and visitors alike.

For more information, see our updated section about the new Safe Travels program on our Hawaii Travel Restrictions page.

Frequently Asked Testing Questions

We've collected some of the most commonly asked questions about traveling to Hawaii during the COVID-19 pandemic and answered them below. Our information and data come from official sources, including the Hawaii Department of Health website(s) and updated press releases from the Governor and Mayor's offices within the Hawaii government. These FAQ items will be updated as necessary to ensure they remain current to recent events. Mahalo!

Will there be testing available in Hawaii?

No, all visitors must have received a negative COVID-19 test, no more than 72 hours from the final leg of departure before arriving in Hawaii. This applies to all visitors ages 5 and older.

For visitors who cannot provide evidence of a negative test result prior to departure for Hawaii, the 10-day quarantine will remain in effect.

What do I do with my test results?

Remember, you must provide written confirmation from a state-approved COVID-19 testing facility of a negative test result upon entry into Hawaii. Travelers will be able to upload their negative test result when they complete their travel and health forms on the Safe Travels digital system, found at travel.hawaii.gov

Will antibody or antigen testing results be accepted?

No! An antibody or antigen test will NOT be accepted by the state of Hawaii as part of the pre-travel testing program. This policy is according to the Department of Health FAQ.

What happens if I test positive while in Hawaii?

We want to be extremely candid with travelers about this topic. First, you'll have to quarantine for 10-days in the accommodation (a quarantine-approved accommodation), regardless of how long your trip was originally planned for. If you were visiting only for 10 days, you'll now be required to stay at least an extra four days! For those who need assistance during this period, there are programs and grants that can help cover the costs related to being in quarantine, in addition to community groups that can provide contactless services.

Just remember, ultimately, you will not be allowed to board a plane back to the mainland if it is known that you are a positive COVID-19 carrier.

That said, there are worse places than Hawaii to get stuck in quarantine, but we definitely wanted to mention this to be straightforward with potential travelers.

Who is responsible for the trans-Pacific test cost?

Each visitor is responsible for paying for their own test and all costs included for such tests. We want to stress again; this test must be done prior to arriving in Hawaii.

Do I need a doctor’s order to get the test?

This varies by location. Please check with your doctor or review the health requirements in your area.

What happens if I don't have my pre-travel test result upon arrival in Hawaii?

Hawaii authorities have said that travelers to Hawaii, who cannot provide evidence of a negative pre-arrivals test prior to departure, will NOT be able to bypass the 10-day quarantine, even if their test arrives as negative post-arrival. To reiterate, travelers must now have their negative COVID-19 test results, from a trusted testing partner, prior to departure for the state of Hawaii.

Please ensure you have your pre-travel test results BEFORE departing for Hawaii, or you will be stuck in quarantine for at least 10-days, which is potentially the entire duration of your trip if you're visiting for less than two weeks.

Are all islands participating in the pre-travel trans-Pacific test program?

Yes, excluding Kauai at this time, but travelers may be asked to take a second post-arrival test depending on which island(s) they visit. Please see our testing updates section above.

Currently, intercounty travelers to Kauai are allowed to participate in the state of Hawaii's Safe Travels program and be exempt from the 10-day travel quarantine with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no less than 72 hours before intercounty travel. This is only for inter-county travel and does not apply to any transpacific travel.

What are other restrictions currently in place (by island) in Hawaii?

For the most up to date information on each Hawaiian Island and the corresponding travel restrictions, we encourage to check out our updated article: Hawaii Travel Restrictions →

What are the rules for international travelers?

At this time, the information found on this web site is primarily for domestic U.S. TRAVELERS ONLY. Currently, international travel restrictions prohibit European and other countries from traveling to the U.S. However, on 10/27/20, the Hawaii Department of Health announced the pre-travel trusted partners from Japan, and on 11/19/20, the state of Hawaii announced initial details on the pre-travel testing program for Canada. We are expecting additional international pre-travel testing programs to become available in the near future (South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, etc.). We will continue to monitor this situation and update this section accordingly.

What are the rules on testing and inter-island travel?

We've recently updated the rules regarding island-island travel, including testing rules, in our Hawaii Travel Restrictions - Inter-island FAQ →

Additional Information

More information on the current COVID-19 rules & restrictions, including for each Hawaiian county/island, can be found on our updated page for Hawaii Travel Restrictions →

Additional information on Hawaii's re-opening process, along with a frequently updated traveler FAQ, can be found in our article: Hawaii Reopening to Visitors - What you need to know →

A list of the trusted travel partners, currently approved by the state of Hawaii, for both the trans-pacific and inter-island pre-travel test can be found here: Hawaii Trusted Travel Partners & Test Costs →

What's Open, Closed, and Reopening Soon in Hawaii?

Now that visitors can once again enjoy Hawaii's remarkable natural beauty, great open spaces, unique experiences, and signature hospitality, we've created a new article to cover everything you need to know about What is Open, Closed, or Reopening Soon →

On that page, we've compiled a list of all the major Hawaii resorts, hotels, b&b's, inn's, and attractions that have already reopened or plan too soon, and their reopening dates when applicable.

Latest Hawaii COVID-19 Travel News & Headlines

We've also created a new page dedicated to the day-by-day updates that are occurring with Hawaii's reopening process: Hawaii COVID-19 Travel News & Headlines →

Stay Informed About Hawaii COVID-19 Info Receive the latest updates about Hawaii's re-opening, current restrictions, testing requirements, etc. with weekly email updates from GoUS Hawaii.



Additional Hawaii COVID-19 Information & Resources

The following resources have been compiled by GoUS Hawaii to better assist travelers in navigating the various restrictions and state-approved test requirements for visiting Hawaii during the COVID pandemic. If you have questions, we are always happy to assist, and you can contact us anytime. You may also want to direct your questions to an official state resource, and we've compiled an updated list of Hawaii Official COVID-19 Contacts for travelers, including phone numbers and email addresses when applicable.

Visiting Hawaii

Upcoming Months of Travel

We think it is safe to say that any month of the year you will not be disappointed when you visit the Hawaiian islands. Here's an overview of what to expect in the coming months. Not sure when to visit? Read about the Best Month to Visit, where we present an overview of each month OR take the quiz on our Best Time to Visit Hawaii page.

Information Disclaimer: Details and information on this page, including dates, may change on a day-by-day basis. While we will be making every effort to keep these pages relevant and up to date, the decision to travel is ultimately your own responsibility. Please travel safely and keep an eye on our Hawaii Travel Requirements page for more information regarding COVID-19 and re-opening in Hawaii.

Comments & Questions

Leave a Response

Our Comments & Questions policy:

  • Please be civil; do not engage in profanity, rudeness, personal attacks, or cyberbullying.
  • Stay on topics related to travel & tourism - no politics!
  • No hyperlinks or UPPER CASE text.
  • No advertising is permitted.
  • You may post anonymously, but it will be held in moderation until approved.
  • Please read through all comments first as your question(s) might have already been asked and answered.
  • All comments will be edited/published at GoUS Hawaii's sole discretion.
  • Your email address will not be published or shared.
  • View our full comments policy
Terms of Use & Disclosures

This website's use is your expressly conditioned acceptance of the terms, conditions, and disclaimers found within our Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability page without any modifications. Your use of this website constitutes your acceptance of all the terms, conditions, and disclaimers posted herein. If you do not agree with any part of these terms and conditions, you should not use this website. We also receive a small commission from travel partners for some of the links found on this website. All partners and related links comply with our Advertising Disclosures. For example, as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. These links do not cost you anything and help provide the necessary funding to maintain this website. Mahalo!