What you need to know if you are planning a trip to Hawaii and how to avoid the Hawaii quarantine
After a long shutdown, we are finally ready to welcome out-of-state visitors once again. You can now come and enjoy our Island's breath-taking beauty, extraordinary open spaces, and warm hospitality filled with Aloha spirit.
If cabin fever is getting to you, get your swimsuits ready! Warm, remote, and quiet, the Big Island of Hawaii is the best place to spend the winter, or maybe even the rest of your life. If you can work remotely, you can live remotely, so why not do it in a place you love?
Even though travel to Hawaii is now open, there are a few things to be aware of. As you may already know, the mandatory 10-day quarantine for all travelers remains in effect. You can avoid the quarantine by participating in the State of Hawaii Pre-Travel Testing program, which began on October 15th.
Here are the steps you need to take to avoid Hawaii quarantine:
1. Register on the State of Hawaii Safe Travels digital system.
You will need to create an account, log in, set up your trip, then upload your test results later.
2. Take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours from the final leg of departure and produce a negative result.
Starting November 24, 2020, travelers MUST have their COVID-19 pre-test results - from a trusted testing partner - PRIOR to departure for the State of Hawaii. If the test results are not available before boarding the final leg of the trip, the traveler must quarantine for 10 days or the length of the stay, whichever is shorter. This new policy applies to domestic transpacific flights and international flights departing from locations in which the State of Hawaii pre-testing programs are in place.
Please note that the State will only accept test results from their trusted testing and travel partners. An antibody or antigen test will NOT be accepted. If you take the wrong test, you will be required to quarantine for 10-days upon arrival. For more information, click here.
To share your results, upload your negative test info in your Safe Travels account. You will be asked to show your test's QR code upon arrival. Travelers will also have their temperatures checked at the airport.
3. Remember to pack your mask and/or facial coverings in your carry-on luggage.
All visitors are required to wear a mask (allowances given for young children and those with health conditions) at all airports and until they are in their room in their confirmed place of lodging. You will also need it when you go to stores, enter restaurants and some other public places.
4. You may be required to take a second, post-arrival test when you come to the Island of Hawaii.
25% of arriving transpacific travelers will be administered an antigen test the day they arrive at the airport. The County will select, at random, those required to take an arrival test. It will be paid for by the County of Hawai'i.
What to expect with the new arrival procedures flying into Hawaii? One of my clients shared his experience just a couple of weeks ago.
"Once we landed, they disembarked the plane in groups of eight rows. At the end of the jetway, we were met by the National Guard who took our temperature. No issues here, so we proceeded to a kiosk where they asked to see the results of our test. You will need to login into your travel.hawaii.gov account and produce the QR code. This is found by clicking on the trip you previously setup. It takes a bit to find, so I suggest you do this on the plane when you land so you are ready.
Passing this stage, you are handed instructions, a simple form to fill out, and proceed to the post-arrival COVID testing location further into the terminal. There can be a line for testing, but they have 10 or 12 stations, so it moves. We were towards the front of the plane, so we headed straight in. A few more questions and a nasal swab later, we moved into the waiting area for results.
The waiting area is well spaced out and quickly filled as we waited for them to call our name. We waited about 20 minutes; however, I would guess those at the back of the plane had to wait longer as the results came in slower than people entering the waiting area.
In all, it took about 45 minutes from landing to walking to baggage claim. Not bad considering the alternative is a 10-day quarantine.
Be prepared, be patient and paradise will be yours. "
This little inconvenience is indeed a small price to pay for finding yourself in one of the most beautiful places in the world and knowing that you and your family are safe. And it is certainly not a discouragement for many. More people are finding refuge from the chaos and the winter of the mainland in the safe heavens of Hawaii. You can be one of them. Amazing beaches, blue ocean, and warmth of the tropical sun and the local community are just a several-hour flight away. So, book your ticket now and visit our beautiful Aina (Land) of Hawaii.
You can find additional information & resources at the links below:
State of Hawaii’s Safe Travels System
State of Hawai’i Department of Transportation | Latest Information On COVID-19
State of Hawai’i Department of Health | Daily News Digest & Resources
County of Hawaii | COVID-19 Latest Information & Updates