Note: This post was written in March 2021. For updated information, visit gohawaii.com.
If this past year has left you yearning to travel, you’re not alone. As restrictions begin to lift, many are looking to plan the vacation they’ve been dreaming about for the past year. However, travel is no longer as simple as picking a destination and booking a flight. Each place has its own travel requirements that visitors must abide by. If you plan to travel to Hawai‘i, here’s what you’ll need to know if you visit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To bypass Hawaii’s 10-day mandatory self-quarantine, travelers are encouraged to participate in the Safe Travels Hawai‘i program. The program requires visitors to take a pre-travel COVID-19 test from a trusted testing and travel partner prior to their trip. To qualify for this quarantine alternative, you must have a negative test result no earlier than 72 hours before the final leg of your trip. Those without a negative test result prior to departure must self-quarantine upon arrival.
This means if you are flying from Chicago to Kona with a layover in San Francisco you must complete your test no earlier than 72 hours prior to your departure from San Francisco. If you’re not sure when you should test due to the timezone difference, you can confirm using this Safe Travels Hawaii Airline Calculator.
After receiving your results, make sure to upload them onto Safe Travels portal prior to your flight. Additionally, within the portal you will need to complete a form regarding your flight and accommodation information.
24-hours prior to your flight, you will required to complete the health questionnaire provided on the Safe Travels website. Upon completion you will receive an email with a QR code that will be scanned by a screener at the airport in Hawaii.
Upon arrival, travelers will be required to complete a multilayered screening process that includes a temperature check, completion of the Mandatory State of Hawai‘i Travel and Health Form. Also, depending on the island you visit there may be additional requirements put in space to avoid the quarantine.
If you’re flying on United Airlines, you may have the option to get pre-cleared for the Safe Travels health form prior to your departure. To do this, complete the health questionnaire 24 hours before your flight to receive a QR code. Then, around 90 minutes before your flight, speak with a gate agent to verify your enrollment status. If you’re flying from San Francisco, there is a designated area near gates F16/F17 where you can speak with an agent. If you qualify for pre-clearance, you’ll receive a wristband to wear for expedited entry at the airport in Hawai‘i.
Currently, visitors of the Big Island are required to take a second free COVID-19 test. Additionally, those traveling to Maui are required to participate in mandatory contact tracing by downloading an app on your phone. For up-to-date information regarding the travel requirements of each island, visit gohawaii.com.
If you are required to self-quarantine upon arrival to Hawai‘i, you will be asked to complete a simple daily check-in form via the Safe Travels portal for 10 days after you arrive. However, if you your paperwork was approved and you are not required to quarantine, you can skip this step.
Which COVID-19 tests are accepted by Hawai‘i?
Click here to view the official list of trusted travel partners.
Which Walgreens tests are accepted?
Both the Rapid Diagnostic Test (ID NOW) and Diagnostic Lab Test (PCR) provided by Walgreens are accepted by the state of Hawai‘i.
If I don’t receive my test results before my flight, what are my other options?
Depending on who you’re flying with, you may have backup options available if your results don’t come back before your flight. For example, United Airlines is offering Hawaii-bound passengers rapid testing at San Francisco International with results in 15 to 30 minutes for $250. Check with your carrier to see what additional options they may provide.
Can I travel between islands after I arrive?
Yes, but there may be quarantine requirements. For up-to-date information regarding travel to each island click here.