Hawai‘i to Drop All Domestic COVID Travel Restrictions

Starting on March 26, travelers will no longer need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result—the Hawai‘i Safe Travels program will be a thing of the past.

Hawai‘i to Drop All Domestic COVID Travel Restrictions

It’s been a long time since anyone could travel to Hawai‘i sans restrictions.

Photo by Shutterstock

Remember in 2020 when numerous U.S. states had COVID entry rules and requirements, including mandatory quarantine and testing (New York, Alaska, and even Florida among them)? One by one, states eventually dropped their pandemic-era entry rules for domestic arrivals—well, all but one. Hawai‘i has been the sole U.S. state that has held out the longest with mandatory vaccine and testing protocols for travelers arriving on the islands from anywhere in the United States.

But all of that comes to an end this month, according to Hawai‘i Governor David Ige, who on Tuesday announced that the state is ending its Safe Travels program and quarantine requirement after March 25.

Beginning on March 26, passengers arriving from any domestic points of origin will not have to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a pretravel negative COVID test result and will no longer be required to create a Safe Travels account with their personal information and trip details, the governor stated.

“We started the Safe Travels program to protect the health, lives, and livelihoods of the people of Hawai‘i. The program put in place safety protocols that included a multi-layered screening and testing approach that kept our communities safe during the COVID-19 surges that endangered the most vulnerable of our citizens,” Governor Ige stated. He added, “Right now, we are seeing lower case counts, and hospitalizations are coming down.”

Michael Victorino, mayor of Maui County, credited the program and Hawai‘i’s vigilance for the fact that “Hawai‘i has the lowest COVID-related death rate in the nation.”

In addition to the Safe Travels program ending, the vast majority of COVID restrictions, such as COVID testing and vaccine passes for entering into venues, are being lifted throughout Hawai‘i as well—the exception being a statewide mask mandate for indoor settings, which remains in place.

Travelers arriving in Hawai‘i now through March 25, are still subject to Safe Travels requirements. Until then, vaccinated Hawai‘i-bound travelers will still need to upload their vaccination certificate to the Hawai‘i’s Safe Travels portal at least 24 hours prior to departure, and once the form is complete they will receive a QR code via email. They can then scan the QR code from their mobile device or from a printed-out version at the airport upon arrival.

They should either bring a hard copy of their vaccination documentation to present upon boarding and on arrival in Hawai‘i, and/or provide digital vaccine certificates from Azova, Clear, or CommonPass.

Those who are not fully vaccinated can participate in Hawai‘i’s pretravel testing program to avoid the otherwise mandatory 10-day quarantine. Unvaccinated out-of-state travelers (age five and older) arriving in Hawai‘i will need to provide proof of a negative FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (such as a PCR test) result taken within 72 hours of boarding. Test results will only be accepted from a list of approved clinics and testing providers. The negative test result must be uploaded onto the Safe Travels platform or printed out prior to departure.

Children under age five are not required to submit a COVID test or quarantine when traveling with an adult who is vaccinated or who is participating in the pretravel testing program. Children age five years and older who are not vaccinated must participate in the pretravel testing program to bypass the otherwise mandatory five-day quarantine. (The quarantine had previously been 10 days.)

International arrivals must still adhere to the federal requirements for entering the United States, which includes providing a negative COVID test from one day prior to departure to the U.S. for both vaccinated and unvaccinated U.S. travelers. Foreign arrivals must be vaccinated per U.S. government rules.

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Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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