This is our most-asked question and it gets confusing. Do you need a COVID-19 test for inter-island travel? If you are planning to island-hop during your Hawaii vacation then here is some advice. 

When is a test required for inter-island travel?

When you are traveling from Oahu to any neighbor island (Maui, Kauai, Big Island, Lanai, Molokai) or between any neighbor island (ex: Maui to Big Island). You’ll need to submit results of a negative COVID test taken 72 hours prior to departure, upload results, and fill out the health questionnaire. 

When is a test NOT required for inter-island travel?

There are two instances when a test isn’t required:

  1. When you fly from a neighbor island to Oahu. So when we fly from Maui to Oahu, we don’t need to take a test. We only take one when we return to Maui. So if you are visiting Oahu and another island on your trip and you want to avoid doing testing while you are here, visit Oahu last. 
  2. When you are stopping on Oahu for a layover only, you do not need an additional test on Oahu before continuing your journey. For example, we flew from California to Maui with a 3-hour layover on Oahu. We did the pre-travel testing in California but we did not need to repeat the test on Oahu. 

What if you’re vaccinated?

Right now that won’t change much for visitors. Starting May 11th, Hawaii is launching a small program to allow people who were vaccinated in the state of Hawaii to bypass the testing program for inter-island travel. The goal is to see how this program works and then open it up to trans-pacific travelers in the future. 

This is similar to what they did before they opened the Safe Travels Hawaii program in October 2020. They launched an inter-island travel program over the summer to test how it would work before rolling it out to visitors coming from the mainland. 

Is every island the same?

Not quite! Which makes this a little more confusing. 

Again, travel to Oahu there’s no need for a test if you’re traveling inter-island.

Maui: you’ll need to get a test 72 hours prior to departure, just like if you were traveling trans-pacific. You’ll also need to download the Aloha Safe app.

Kauai: you’ll need to get a test 72 hours prior to departure, just like if you were traveling trans-pacific.

Island of Hawaii or Big Island: there are two options. One, you can get a test 72 hours before departure. Or two, you can go into quarantine and take a post-arrival test. Once negative results are returned and submitted, your quarantine will be over. 

Video on Testing for Hawaii Inter-Island Travel

Check out our video on Hawaii inter-island testing requirements for more examples. Subscribe to our channel for updates on inter-island travel.

 

Where do you get tested?

Just like when you fly to Hawaii, you need to use one of the trusted travel partners. A list can be found at HawaiiCovid19.com. Some options we’ve heard of people using successfully and easily include the following:

Oahu: National Kidney Foundation for $140 and at two locations. Choose to take the test in Waikiki at the Hawaiian Monarch Hotel or at Daniel K. Inouye Airport (Honolulu Airport)

Maui: Minit Medical has three locations: Lahaina, Kihei, and Kahului Airport

Kaiser Permanente, free for members, and on all the islands.

Vault Health is a take-at-home test with 48-hour results for $129. 

Find one convenient for you on the island you are vacationing. With Vault Health, you can have the test kit delivered to your home and take it with you on your trip. Drop it off at the UPS Store for overnight shipping. Just an idea but do what is right for you!

Reminder to Inter-Island Travel and COVID Testing

This article is to help summarize the requirements for inter-island travel and testing. Please visit HawaiiCOVID19.com for official information and the latest news as inter-island requirements will be changing this summer.

 

Hawaii inter-island travel testing partners

Erica Gellerman

Erica Gellerman

I'm the co-founder, with my husband Jordan, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We live on Maui with our toddler Henry and our sweet but quirky dog Hattie. I am a planner! I love to plan island-hopping adventures, days out on Maui, and everything in-between. I spend a lot of my time on our SUP and my favorite time of year in Hawai'i is whale season!

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