Hawaii Reopens to Tourism - What you Need to Know
Pre-Travel Testing Program begins August 1, 2020
Last Updated: July 1, 2020
Undoubtedly, many visitors have been keeping a close eye on Hawaii and its process of reopening to visitors and tourists. Since late March, there has been a 14-day quarantine, and there's some good news on that front as of late June 2020. Hawaii will now be relaxing the mandatory 14-day quarantine policy as of August 1, 2020, allowing travelers to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test instead. Overall, Hawaii has fared relatively well thanks to its early and long-standing quarantine policy, recording just 900+ cases to date in total.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Do you have to test for COVID-19 to visit Hawaii?
The pre-testing travel program effectively opens up the islands to visitors, as long as they bring along proof of a negative test and complete a State Travel and Health form upon arrival within the state.
The negative test will need to have been conducted by a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory no more than 72 hours prior* to the visitor's arrival and will need to be a PCR (polymerise chain reaction) test (nasal or throat swab test), rather than an antibody test. To reiterate, this test result must be confirmed prior* to arrival in Hawaii and the visitor must present evidence of this test upon arrival.
- The testing expense will be the responsibility of the traveler.
- No testing will be available upon arrival at the airports in Hawaii.
- Temperature checks will continue at airports across the state. Anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees will be required to undergo a secondary screening at the airport with trained healthcare staff.
- Travelers will be required to fill out the State Travel and Health Declaration forms upon arrival in Hawaii.
- Everyone must wear face masks in all Hawaii airports and when entering places of business in Hawaii.
*Further details are forthcoming regarding from what age will children be tested, how long the pre-arrival testing requirement and quarantine process will be in effect, whether this only applies to travel from the mainland United States or whether it also applies to travel from other countries, and how this affects residents returning to Hawaii. We will continue to update this page with confirmed information.
Do you have to Quarantine upon arriving in Hawaii?
If a visitor is not able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test received, at most, 72 hours prior to their arrival in Hawaii, they would be required to quarantine for 14 days, or however long they remain on the island, whichever is shorter in duration. This rule is in effect for ALL visitors until July 31, 2020.
- For visitors who refuse the 14-day quarantine, the passenger must make arrangements to leave the island immediately without leaving the airport.
- People who are required to self-quarantine for 14 days must designate a hotel or motel as their designated quarantine location.
- No person who is subject to the mandatory self-quarantine is allowed to stay in a short-term or vacation rental.
- Additionally, operations that rent vehicles may not rent to any person who is subject to a 14-day traveler quarantine order unless an exemption is granted.
Violation of the quarantine is a misdemeanor and punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. Enforcement will be handled by each of Hawaii’s four counties.
What is Hawaii doing to encourage tourism?
Hawaii’s economy is, for better or worse, heavily reliant on tourism. The longstanding quarantine rules that began in late March 2020 have resulted in widespread unemployment across the islands, which is undoubtedly one of the motivating factors behind the phased reopening.
Having only just announced on June 24th its intention to allow a pre-testing travel program as of August 1, the state has yet to announce any special measures to make visitors feel more comfortable on their trip. There are no plans to cover COVID-19-related medical or quarantine costs for travelers who may incur those expenses during their trip.
Visitors should know that Hawaii’s visitor industry continues to maintain the highest standards for sanitation and has taken additional steps to enhance its efforts at hotels, attractions, restaurants, and other public spaces across the Hawaiian Islands to prevent the spread of infectious diseases amongst residents and visitors. The industry is also taking continued steps to educate its workforce on practicing good hygiene at home and on the job.
What to expect if you travel to Hawaii
The inter-island travel quarantine was lifted on June 16, 2020, for air travel, however, a new form must now be completed when traveling between islands. Travelers may be prohibited from boarding a flight if they refuse to complete the mandatory form, have an elevated temperature above 100.4 degrees, or are on the 14-day quarantine list prohibiting them from flying.
Visitors who are still in their 14-day quarantine are not permitted to fly to another island.
Across much of the Hawaiian islands, normal life has resumed with physical distancing rules in place, some capacity restrictions, and mask-wearing is encouraged. Beaches, outdoor attractions, and restaurants across the state have opened for business in this fashion.
As of late May, outdoor tour operators have also been allowed to resume operating, while state parks have also been gradually reopening in May and June. The majority of hotels have also either already opened or will be accepting reservations as of August 1. At this time, large-scale events and festivals are still not permitted and have mostly been canceled throughout the summer/fall of 2020.
Governor Ige has lowered the alert level to yellow ("Act with Care") - which enables more businesses to reopen. Everyone must continue to wear facial masks when entering places of business and as outlined in the governor’s Emergency Rules.
Four counties have different and varying guidelines, details by island:
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 Special Alerts page for more information regarding COVID-19 and re-opening in Hawaii.
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