Is Hawaii open for travel?

Is Hawaii open for travel?

Hawaii coast

Are you looking forward to traveling to Hawaii? Are the magnificent beaches and the warm sun beckoning you? Well, the good news is that Hawaii is open for travelers now. But there are conditions that are to be fulfilled due to the pandemic situation. With the pandemic not entirely over, the various guidelines for the traveler have been laid out by the State.

Read more for details on the guidelines and rules to be followed while traveling to Hawaii. 

Who can travel to Hawaii?

You have to be fully vaccinated and should provide evidence of vaccination by showing the certifications if you are within the United States. Now, if you are outside of the United States and you are fully vaccinated you can travel too but you do need to show the COVID negative test reports to be allowed entry. This applies if you are an international traveler or a US citizen who is abroad. In some cases, if you are not fully vaccinated a COVID negative report is taken within one day of boarding the flight. Whether you are a returning resident of Hawaii or a first-time visitor the protocols would apply equally as Hawaii would like to keep all its residents and travelers safe and healthy.

What type of COVID tests are accepted?

The preferred test will be a NAAT test rather than an antigen test. NAAT stands for Nucleic acid amplification test which identifies RNA (Ribonucleic acid) sequences that constitute the genetic material of the virus. Antigen tests typically involve taking swabs from the nose. The antigen test looks for antigens from the virus. 

There is a 10-day mandatory self-quarantine that Hawaii has for domestic travelers from the U.S. and its Territories. But if you can produce a fully vaccinated certification, you can bypass quarantines and also pre-travel tests. 

To do this the traveler must upload the vaccination record to Safe Travels (explained further down in the article) and also print it out and carry the hard copy while traveling to present on arrival at Hawaii.

Vaccine records that are digitally validated by The State Of Hawaii Official Digital Health Pass Partners such as AZOVA, Common pass or CLEAR would be accepted. Those who carry these would have expedited processing at the airports and no paper vaccine records would be necessary.

If you are desirous of using the pre-travel test to bypass the mandated self-quarantine you must produce a negative result for the COVID test. The test should be taken from a Trusted Testing Partner not more than 72 hours before the trip.

Hawaiian sunset
Photo: Pixabay.com

When is quarantine mandatory?

If you do not have a negative test result or U.S. vaccination before departure should necessarily undergo quarantine upon arrival.

What is the SAFE TRAVELS program?

The safe travels program is a process of safe travel designed by the State of Hawaii to ensure safety from the spread of Covid -19 in Hawaii. The Hawaii State protocols are aligned with the federal international requirements that would apply to any international traveler to the US.

Prior to the departure, the airlines will have to screen the passengers for the required tests and vaccination documents. Once entering the US, the international passengers from another territory or state will then be considered as domestic travelers and the rule for domestic travelers will apply when they enter the State of Hawaii.

This will include filling the Mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health Form and undergoing temperature screening at the airports upon arrival.

 

Pre-travel and vaccination exception program For Domestic US travelers from US States and Territories

Domestic US passengers can avail of the pre-travel testing program and a vaccination exception program.

For this purpose, you will have to create an online user account at travel.hawaii.gov prior to your departure. You have to be 18 years or older to start the account. Once the account is created you will have to enter traveler information and trip details. The test results and vaccine records have to be uploaded. Please note that The State of Hawaii currently accepts only those vaccine records which are digitally validated by the approved digital health partners such as CLEAR, Common pass, etc. Without necessary vaccination data and appropriate test results, the traveler will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine.

Once your details and trip information have been completed you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire which is mandatory. This will be shown in your account 24 hours before departure. Make sure that you look for it and fill it before your departure. Once the health form is completed you will be emailed a QR code. This QR code has to be noted and presented prior to boarding and also upon arrival in Hawaii. You can present the QR code on your mobile phone too in case you do not have the hard copy printed out. A photo id will also be needed to verify the documents.

What happens if you receive a negative test result while you are in quarantine in Hawaii?

In the case you get a negative test result while you are in quarantine you will have to complete the remaining days of the mandated 10 days.

What if you test positive while in quarantine? 

In the case where you are in quarantine and get a positive test result, you will be kept in isolation and treated. Once you recover ad have passed at least 24 hours without fever and use of fever medicines. You will have to complete 10 days quarantine before resuming your travel. The Department of Health of the Hawaii State will closely work with you and provide the guidance necessary.

 

If you are traveling with other people and you have tested positive, the fellow travelers will also have to quarantine for 10 days.

How to contact Safe Travels

Safe Travels Digital Platform Technical Service Desk: 1-855-599-0888

They are available 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. HST

If you are calling outside working hours it will go to voicemail. The calls will be returned only the next business day.

For more details on Digital health partners approved by the State of Hawaii you can visit their websites listed below:

Starting from Nov. 8, international travelers flying directly to Hawaii need not complete Safe Travels application to bypass quarantine. The airlines they use will be screening and ensure protocols are followed before departure.

Please note that Direct international Travelers will have to meet CDC guidelines that are the latest.  If you are a Cruise line passenger., you will need to enter your first port of arrival in Hawaii in the file given on the trip information page.

Official State websites for Safe travels program are below:

hawaiicovid19.com/travel/ and travel.hawaii.gov/.

Please be informed that the State of Hawaii does not charge any types of fees for the Safe Travels program. This applies whether you create a Safe Travels account, or you access the Safe Travels application, or for completing Safe Travels information. If any website or service asks you to pay fees for any of the above, please know that it is not mandated by the State of Hawaii.

Download the AlohaSafeAlert app for making your travel to Hawaii easier

The State of Hawaii encourages all travelers to download the AlohaSafe Alert app to stay abreast of the latest notifications and updates on COVID 19 protocols. This is a free-to-use app for voluntary use. This is the official exposure notification app shared by the State of Hawaii to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the State.

Mandatory Airline protocols

The following are some of the airline protocols mandated by the Government that you need to follow while traveling to Hawaii:

  • Please follow the rule for social distancing and keep a physical distance of 6 feet distance. 
  • Remember mask-wearing is mandatory and make sure you are wearing your mask at all times in the airports. The travelers need to keep the mask on until they reach their confirmed place of stay and can remove them in their rooms.
  • For children or those with health conditions permission to remove them can be obtained.
  • Temperature checks will be mandatory for all domestic or international travelers, For those with an elevated temperature of 100.4F and above photos will be taken and temporarily retained.
  • Use of hand sanitizers and cooperation with sanitation processes in the airports are requested to ensure the safety of all passengers.


 

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