If you’re itching to visit Hawaii there’s some good news for you! Hawaiian Governor David Ige has decided to loosen the State’s travel restrictions – both for tourists and for locals returning to their state.
The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to plague much of the world – and the United States, with around 7.8 million total coronavirus cases and almost 220,000 deaths, is no exception. However, unlike when the pandemic first escalated in Europe and the US back in March, it seems full-on lockdowns won’t be implemented this time around, as the economic burden would simply be too high.
Instead, most businesses are staying open for now, albeit with strictly enforced social distancing measures and health protocols, such as regular hand sanitizing and the compulsory wearing of facemasks indoors.
As for travel and tourism, it’s quite a similar situation, with many jurisdictions now requiring visitors to demonstrate that they have tested negative for coronavirus in the prior 24-72 hours, and they may also need to self-isolate for up to 14 days upon arrival.
Relaxed Travel Restrictions Make it Easy to Visit Hawaii
With Hawaiian Governor David Ige’s decision to loosen the State’s travel restrictions – both for tourists and for locals returning to their state – from the middle of this month, via the Pre-Travel Testing Program, you can go ahead and plan your trip.
The program will allow travelers and returnees to enter Hawaii and not need to self-isolate so long as they can demonstrate they have tested negative for COVID-19 in the 72 hours prior to flying into Hawaii.
Previously, anyone planning to visit Hawaii had to complete a 14-day quarantine period. If someone arrives in Hawaii and is yet to receive the result of their PCR test, they will still have to self-isolate until they are given the all-clear.
The program will begin on October 15, so if you’re longing for Hawaii’s sandy beaches and palm trees, you better get booking.
However, you should remember that proof of a negative antigen test result is not sufficient – it must be a negative result for the FDA-authorized Nucleic Acid Amplification Test from a certified CLIA testing facility.
Some of the clinics that are administering the test include Walgreens and CVS, while a number of airlines are also offering COVID-19 for passengers flying into a jurisdiction which requires them to provide proof that they have tested negative for the virus. The tests administered by airlines vary in cost, but you’re typically looking at anywhere from $100 to $250.
Keep in mind that it normally takes 48 hours to get your results back, so you may have to spend a day or two in quarantine in Hawaii while you wait for your results if you leave it until the last minute.
“If you test positive, we’re going to give you guidance on what you need to do,” Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said earlier this month.
“If you can’t afford it, we’ll work with you because we’re trying to be very compassionate to our travelers who are coming back to Hawaii. We have some hotel rooms.”
A Quick Summary
- The State of Hawaii has announced that it will relax its travel restrictions from the middle of this month.
- Specifically, visitors and returnees will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days if they can provide proof that they have tested negative for COVID-19 in the prior 72 hours.
- You can get tested at a clinic a few days before your flight, or complete a test with an airline a few hours before take-off.
- If you’re unable to provide proof of a negative test result, you will need to self-isolate until 14 days have passed or until you get your test result back.