News Update

Travel to Hawaii during Covid-19: What you need to know

Editor’s Note — Coronavirus cases remain high across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus. Staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on November 5.

(CNN) — If you’re planning to travel to Hawaii, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest news

Hawaii is aligning its entry policy for international travelers with the new federal policy for air travelers going into effect on November 8, requiring international arrivals to be fully vaccinated and have a negative Covid-19 test result.

And Hawaii “is safely open to vaccinated residents and visitors who are traveling domestically and between islands for business or pleasure” as of November 1, according to a news release from Gov. David Ige. Previously, Ige had asked travelers to stay away as Hawaii coped with the Delta variant.

The basics

In addition to the new requirements for international arrivals, Hawaii has ended its pre-travel testing and quarantine requirement for domestic travelers if they’ve been fully vaccinated for Covid-19 in the United States.

US visitors who aren’t fully vaccinated still must provide a negative Covid-19 test result from one of the state’s Trusted Travel Partners taken within three days of their flight’s departure for Hawaii to enter the state and bypass a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

What’s on offer

Spectacular surfing, sandy beaches, traditional Pacific culture and rugged volcanoes await Hawaii visitors. Hawaii’s geographical position and proud history make it unlike anywhere else in the United States.

Who can go

Unvaccinated travelers from abroad will no longer be allowed, with very limited exceptions.

Among those exceptions are unvaccinated children under the age of 18.

Americans are still allowed to travel to Hawaii, regardless of vaccination status.

Through November 7, Hawaii will be still be following CDC guidelines, meaning those who have been in Brazil, China, the European Schengen Area, Iran, India, Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom in the past 14 days will be denied entry.

What are the restrictions?

As mentioned above, being fully vaccinated is the key requirement for international travelers 18 and up, as well as tests taken with three days of departing for Hawaii for all travelers over age 2.

Unvaccinated US travelers must take a test to bypass a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

Participation in the state’s Safe Travels Hawaii program remains a requirement for domestic travelers.

Unvaccinated US citizens flying directly to Hawaii from an international destination would have to take a test within one day of departing for Hawaii, in accordance with federal rules.

All restrictions on intercounty travel have been lifted, meaning no pre-travel testing or quarantining is needed for travel between the Hawaiian islands.

What’s the Covid situation?

With roughly 85,000 cases and more than 900 deaths reported as of November 5, Hawaii has seen relatively low Covid numbers compared with other US states. It’s had the some of strictest lockdown and travel measures of any state.

Hawaii began easing restrictions earlier this year, but the spread of the Delta variant over the summer spurred the state to once again tighten up on gathering sizes.

What can visitors expect?

Previous limits on outdoors gatherings will be lifted.

On the island of Oahu, Safe Access O’ahu requires patrons and employees of restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, museums, arcades and other types of establishments to be fully vaccinated to enter. There are a few exceptions. Among them:

— Customers with proof of a negative Covid-19 test result (molecular or antigen) taken with 48 hours of entry into the covered premises along with another piece of ID.

— Children younger than 12 years old.

Maui also has indoor vaccine requirements that dovetail with the new statewide policies going into effect on November 12.

Masks are required in public indoor settings in Hawaii unless you’re eating and drinking.

Parks and beaches are still open.

Useful links

Our recent coverage

What’s it like traveling to Hawaii during the pandemic? Read about a recent experience here.

Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley, Marnie Hunter and Forrest Brown contributed to this report

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