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Destination spotlight: Hawaii

With so many international borders closed, our thoughts turn to a tropical island paradise in the Pacific you don’t need a passport to visit. Your choice of Island in Hawaii has always been important and tailored to the type of your experience you’re looking for, as each has its own unique style and charm. With COVID-19 restrictions, the choice and order of islands you visit is more important than ever, as requirements vary.

When it reopened for travel without a mandatory 14-day quarantine in October, the state introduced its Safe Travels program with testing requirements to avoid a 10-day quarantine. Kauai, however, has opted out of the program and developed its own. So not only will you need a negative NAAT test provided by an approved partner within 72 hours of your departure to the state, you’ll also need to either pass another test to go to Kauai or spend a three-day quarantine in one of the island’s approved bubble resorts (and test negative) before exploring the Garden Isle.

If you’re going to the Big Island, there’s a 25% chance you’ll be randomly selected to take a test on arrival (paid for by Hawaii County). If you’re going to Maui, you’ll need to download the AlohaSafe Alert App. If you’re going from an outer island to Oahu, you don’t need to meet additional requirements or add that trip to your Safe Travels profile. If you’re going from Oahu to an outer island, you probably do, but rules vary depending on which island it is. No matter which island you visit, you’ll need to complete a health declaration and upload your test results to the Safe Travels website. 

Suffice it to say, it’s complicated. The above is not even an exhaustive list of the various requirements. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the adventures in the rainforest, beneath the waves and at the top of volcanoes that formed the islands so many years ago. You can still relax on some of the most scenic beaches you could ever hope to find. It just means you need some help from a travel advisor to comply with all the protocols. Let us do what we do best, navigate the ins and outs of travel so you can make the most of your vacation. Not only will we help you get there, we know where to stay, where to eat and what to do to make your Hawaii getaway a true tropical paradise escape.

COVID entry protocol

A 10-day mandatory quarantine will be required for trans-Pacific travelers arriving WITHOUT a confirmed negative COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours before departure of the final leg of their trip to Hawai‘i. Travelers will not be able to obtain a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) upon arrival at any Hawaiʻi airport.

All trans-Pacific travelers who board a plane on the final leg of their trip to the Hawaiian Islands without first securing a negative test will be subject to mandatory quarantine. Tests must be taken with trusted testing and travel partners with 72 hours of departure.

The negative test result must be uploaded onto Safe Travels prior to departure or printed out prior to departure and hard copy in hand when arriving in Hawai‘i.

Travelers without a negative test result before boarding the final leg of their flight MUST quarantine for 10 days or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter.

It is important travelers consider the duration and considerable expense of possible quarantine before embarking.

County of Kauai entry protocol

Travelers from out of state now have the option of a shortened three-day quarantine by participating in the resort bubble post-travel testing program. To qualify, travelers must do the following:

  1. Create a Safe Travels account and complete the mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health Form at:

  2. Take a pre-travel test within 72 hours before arriving on Kauai and receive a negative test result.

This test can be any COVID-19 diagnostic test (antigen or PCR test) with emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The lab does not need to be on the state’s Trusted Testing and Travel Partners list for use in Kauai’s resort bubble program.

  1. Make a reservation at an approved Enhanced Movement Quarantine (EMQ) “resort bubble” hotel on Kauai

Inter-island travel protocols

Requirements differ depending on which island you are traveling from and to. Consult with your travel to plan your itinerary to ensure you meet all requirements.

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