If you’re like us, you are beyond that excited that as of October 15, Hawaii is welcoming visitors again without the mandatory 14-day quarantine. In order for guests to bypass that stay-in-place measure, the state is asking a few things.
All travelers 18 years and older planning on visiting Hawaii must take an approved COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure from the final leg of travel.
You must then register on the state’s Safe Travels digital platform. Here, you will upload your negative pre-travel test results. You must also complete the state’s mandatory health form on this digital platform.
Hawaii will only accept tests results from approved providers, including CVS Health, Quest Diagnostics, Walgreens and others. The full list can be found here. You will be responsible for the cost of this test.
To help facilitate the process—and to help travelers remember what is required—Hawaii sends an email notification 24 hours prior to departure reminding you to fill out the mandatory travel and health form. Once you’ve done so, a QR code will be emailed back. You’ll need this at the airport, where you will be asked to show it as part of the screening process, which also includes a temperature check.
If negative test results are not received by Hawaii prior to arrival, you will be asked to self-quarantine for the 14-day period—or until the results of your test become available.
Also, note that travel between Hawaiian Islands is also restricted. In other words, it’s easiest to choose just one island for your getaway. Know that the Big Island is not loosening any restrictions for between-island travelers. However, Oahu, Maui and Kauai are allowing travel between islands for those who follow the pre-flight testing protocol; more information will be available soon on travel.hawaii.gov.
Once in Hawaii—on any island—you are asked to wear a mask, follow physical distancing guidelines and wash your hands often when in shared spaces. In addition to doing your part, you can relax knowing that a majority of Hawaii resorts are following strict COVID protocol.
Resort groups, such as Aqua-Aston Hospitality with properties on Oahu and Maui, are implementing a host of COVID-safety measures. Aqua-Aston is the brand behind a wide range of Oahu hotels, from the Aqua Oasis, which starts at $95 a night, to the Jewel of Waikiki, which opened last year and features rooms at $3,700 per night. At every property, safety measures include social distancing of furniture on pool decks and throughout the property’s shared spaces, using electrostatic sprayers to apply CDC-approved cleaning agents and cleaning high-touch areas at the front desk and in guest rooms, including the light switches, remote controls and door handles, with greater frequency.
A few resort restaurants have also taken additional measures.
“Our Japanese-French dining concept, Mugen, recently reopened for takeaway-only in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our culinary team and patrons,” says Theresa van Greunen, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Communications for Aqua-Aston Hospitality. “For the first time, Executive Chef Jason Yamaguchi created a weekly bento box offering, which gives travelers a chance to experience Mugen’s innovative flavor profiles and pairings while supporting Yogarden, the local farm from which he sources many fresh ingredients. For added peace of mind, travelers can enjoy contactless payment and curbside pickup.”
Yes, life on island will look a little different for the time being. But, so much of why we love Hawaii, from the rainforest-covered mountains to the golden sand beaches, remains as picturesque—and inviting—as ever.