Table of Contents
- Hawaii Travel Restrictions: How to Travel to Hawaii and What to Expect
- Can you travel to Hawaii right now?
- Two travel options: Vaccine Exemption and Pre-Travel Testing
- What are current COVID restrictions in Hawaii?
- Things change — stay up to date
- Island Hopping in Hawaii: how to do it right
- Your Maui Honeymoon: 10 Unforgettable Activities for Couples
- Don’t Miss the 5 Best Snorkeling Spots on Kauai (with maps, directions, and tips)
Hawaii Travel Restrictions: How to Travel to Hawaii and What to Expect
Updated: September 10th, 2021
Hawaii’s long-awaited pre-travel testing program launched on October 15th, 2020. Since then, there have been a number of changes. Here we’ll keep you up to date on the most current Hawaii travel restrictions as well as what it’s like to visit Hawaii right now. We update this page often, but if you’d like more insights and current updates on exactly what it’s like here right now, our newsletter is for you.
Can you travel to Hawaii right now?
Yes, you can currently travel to Hawaii, but with restrictions. First are arrival restrictions that we’ll cover in the section below. There is still a mandatory 10-day quarantine in effect but there are two ways to bypass it: with a vaccine exemption and with pre-travel testing. Once you get to Hawaii, there are restrictions in place that are constantly changing and will affect your vacation. We’ve included more details on those restrictions and will keep them up to date, but we know planning a trip to Hawaii is tough right now. That’s why we created a newsletter to keep you informed of changes in state rules and travel advice for coming to Hawaii during these times.
Sign up here for our Hawaii Open Updates Newsletter. We’ll keep you updated with what is actually open on the ground in Hawaii.
Two travel options: Vaccine Exemption and Pre-Travel Testing
If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, there are two ways that you can avoid the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine. Official government details can be found at hawaiicovid19.com.
1.) Vaccine Exemption Program
If you have been fully vaccinated in the US or US Territories, you can bypass quarantine by uploading proper proof of your vaccination status. In addition, you must also fill out the health questionnaire 24 hours before travel. You can find more details in our video:
2.) Pre-travel testing program
Anyone unvaccinated has the option to bypass quarantine by uploading a negative COVID test. This test cannot be taken more than 72 hours before your final leg of departure to Hawaii. Tests must also be taken with a trusted travel testing partner. You can find a list of Hawaii’s Trusted Travel Testing Partners here. Just as with the vaccine exemption process, within 24 hours of your departing flight, you must fill out a health questionnaire.
Note on inter-island travel
There used to be a testing requirement for anyone island hopping, but that requirement has been lifted. Now once you are in Hawaii and are not subject to quarantine, you are able to travel between the islands freely.
What are current COVID restrictions in Hawaii?
On August 23, Governor Ige asked that tourists and residents curtail their travel stating that this “is not a good time to travel to Hawaii.” But few actual restrictions or mandates have been issued.
Island of Hawaii COVID Restrictions
Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth announced stricter gathering limits on August 27th, 2021. Most notably, his request to close beaches was not approved.
- The new gathering limit for Hawaii County is 10 people indoors, 10 outdoors.
- At beaches and parks, pods of 10 are allowed with 20 feet of separation. But no tents or canopies are allowed and permits for larger gatherings are rescinded.
The mayor has not requested or discussed new restrictions.
Oahu COVID Restrictions
Honolulu Mayor Rick Biangiardi recognizes the surge in COVID cases on his island but he is not in favor of a lockdown.
On August 25th, Honolulu canceled all gatherings with 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors. Gatherings impacted by the order include:
- Weddings and funerals
- Concerts and live events
- Ticketed sporting events
Starting Sept. 13, you’ll need to show proof of a COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 48-hours to get into restaurants, bars, gyms, and other venues on Oahu. Show your vaccination card, photo of your vaccination card, or a negative COVID test result that was taken within 48-hours. This would require one to show their vaccine card to enter restaurants, bars, and gyms. Children 12 and younger are exempt from the requirement. Alcohol is no longer served after 10:00 pm. This program will be in effect for 60-days. Learn more at Safe Access Oahu.
The vaccine card rule does not apply for take-out, businesses where one is inside for less than 15-minutes, or food trucks.
Maui COVID Proposals
On Maui, Mayor Michael Victorino has suggested a few COVID restrictions, such as a 21-day break period of non-essential activities for residents and visitors. He is also asking to close Hana to visitors. These suggestions have not been approved by Governor Ige.
The program is planned to be in effect for 30-days.
The second new restriction is bars and restaurants must close by 10:00 pm.
Third, visitors will also find cuts in capacity. The max capacity for restaurants, bars, gyms, recreational boating, ground transport tours will be reduced to 50% from 75%. While visitor count is down coming into the fall, we recommend booking a snorkel tour early! See our favorite tour providers here.
Maui’s mayor has reduced indoor gatherings to 5 and outdoor gatherings to 10 people. That means there’s no restaurant seating for tables greater than 5 people.
Kauai COVID Proposals
Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami has not requested new COVID restrictions. He is asking residents and visitors to reduce travel and gatherings.
Things change — stay up to date
Planning a trip to Hawaii is tough and confusing right now. Stay up to date with what’s happening in Hawaii by signing up for our bi-weekly Hawaii Open Updates Newsletter. Our newsletter subscribers get all of the real-deal insights to help them make thoughtful decisions, plan, and figure out how to navigate 2021.
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!
Related Articles You Will Find Fascinating
When you’re making the big trip to Hawaii, you might plan on island hopping. But what’s the easiest way to get around? And is it worth the trip? Island hopping in Hawaii is absolutely worth it. The islands are all incredibly different and it’s easy to get from island...
You’re planning your honeymoon to Maui so you’re in for a treat. While beach going and relaxing are probably at the top of your to-do list, there are some amazing experiences you can have that will help make this a trip you won’t soon forget. Is Maui a Good Honeymoon...
Kauai is beautiful. Both on the land and underwater. But finding a great place to snorkel in Kauai isn’t as easy as just pulling over on the side of the road and jumping in the water. There are currents to contend with and rocky beaches, which can make entering and...