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 July 30.
(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.
Hawaii has now ended its pre-travel testing and quarantine requirement for domestic travelers if they’ve been fully vaccinated for Covid-19 in the United States. This is a big shift for isolated Hawaii, which has had the strictest Covid-19 requirements of any state.Travelers must upload their CDC-issued vaccination card to the state’s Safe Travels Program website and have the card with them upon arrival as well.
Visitors who aren’t fully vaccinated still must provide a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken 72 hours or less before the final leg of their trip to enter.
“We are close to achieving a 70% vaccination rate, at which point all restrictions will end and we can return to the lives we remember,” said Gov. David Ige in a recent statement.
All air passengers entering the United States must present a negative test result. See below for details on which test types are approved specifically for the state of Hawaii, including for Americans arriving from other states.
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
Beyond those places, Hawaii is 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. Travelers from all other countries must undergo a 10-day quarantine. Check the Safe Travels Hawai’i site for details as the situation evolves. All tourists must also complete a Safe Travels Hawaii form, and many will need to undergo a health screening on arrival. A couple of islands also require a second Covid-19 test upon arrival.
What are the restrictions?
Currently, travelers must either undergo a 10-day quarantine or — if traveling from a handful of countries (listed above) — avoid quarantine by presenting a negative test from a “trusted partner,” a list of which can be found on the Hawaii Covid-19 website. Fully vaccinated domestic travelers can now bypass pre-travel testing and quarantine.
For air travelers 5 and older entering Hawaii from abroad, getting a test from one of Hawaii’s approved Trusted Testing Partners will be particularly important because some tests accepted under the US testing entry requirement that went into effect in January would not allow travelers to bypass Hawaii’s quarantine.
Travelers, including those arriving from the US mainland, must have a negative test result before departing on the last leg of their trip to Hawaii unless fully vaccinated. Test results must be uploaded to the Safe Travels Hawaii site before your flight to the islands or printed out prior to departure with the hard copy ready to present upon arrival. Otherwise, you will incur the 10-day quarantine.Registration with Safe Travels Hawaii as soon as flights are booked is mandatory for all travelers older than 18.
On June 15, all restrictions on intercounty travel were lifted, meaning no pre-travel testing or quarantining is needed for travel between the Hawaiian islands.
What’s the Covid situation?
With only about 41,000 cases and 534 deaths reported as of July 30, Hawaii has seen relatively low Covid numbers compared with other US states. Strict lockdown measures were put in place in March 2020 to ensure that the islands were not overwhelmed. However, cases were rising in July.
What can visitors expect?
Some restrictions can vary by island, but masks are no longer required outside on a statewide basis. However, mask wearing is highly recommended when in a large group outdoors.
And the indoor mask mandate remains unchanged.
Each island sets its own caps on gatherings and other capacity restrictions, which have been easing recently. Parks and beaches are open.
On Oahu, for example, there is five-tier system of restrictions. The island is now in Tier 5, the least restrictive, with many venues and attractions allowing gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and up to 75 outdoors. Read more about tiers here.
Our recent coverage
What’s it like traveling to Hawaii during the pandemic? CNN’s Brekke Fletcher wrote about her experience here.
Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley, Marnie Hunter and Forrest Brown contributed to this report