UPDATES
  • Hawaii Announces End to Safe Travels Program on March 26, 2022. See here
  • Booster is currently not required to be considered 'fully vaccinated' by Hawaii. Travelers are considered up to date on the 14th day for vaccines that need two shots or for vaccines that require only one shot.

Hawaii's all major islands are currently opening for visitors without the mandatory five (5) days quarantine if:
  • You have a negative COVID test within 72 hours of your last flight's departure into Hawaii or
  • You are vaccinated up to the 14th day of vaccines that require two shots or vaccinate that need only one shot. A booster shot is not currently required. 

It's crucial to note that you can't just go get a COVID test anywhere you want. Hawaii's government made it clear that they only accept the testing result from their list of trusted partners.

Mauna Kea Beach Resort - Autograph Collection
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    Hawaii Announces End to Safe Travels Program on March 26, 2022

    Hawaii's government decides to end Hawaii's Safe Travels program on March 26, 2022. This means that any visitors that wish to go to Hawaii are no longer required quarantine, COVID-19 testing, or vaccines. 

    We started the Safe Travels program to protect the health, lives, and livelihoods of the people of Hawaiʻi. 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. Right now, we are seeing lower case counts, and hospitalizations are coming down.

    Hawaii's Vaccination Exception Program

    UPDATE: Hawaii Announces End to Safe Travels Program on March 26, 2022. See the first section mentioned above. 

    The State of Hawaii has decided to remove the testing/quarantine requirements for U.S. travelers who are vaccinated. This means that you no longer need to conduct pre-travel COVID testing as outlined in this article to enter Hawaii if you are vaccinated. 

    To be considered fully vaccinated to be exempt from the mandatory self-quarantine:
    • A booster shot is currently not required.
    • You must be up to the date on the 14th day after your vaccination series before boarding your last leg of the flight to Hawaii. For example, if your previous vaccine dose was on October 1st, then October 15th would be the first day you meet the 14-day vaccination requirement. 
    • You are still required to upload your vaccination record to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program website (see below how to properly do this to skip the line upon your arrival in Hawaii)

    In summary, if you really don't want to deal with the pre-travel testing hassles to enter Hawaii, you simply must be up to date on your vaccination to be exempted from the mandatory self-quarantine. 

    How to Upload Your COVID Vaccination Record Card to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program Website

    UPDATE: Hawaii Announces End to Safe Travels Program on March 26, 2022. See the first section mentioned above. 

    • Go to Hawaii's Safe Travels Website
    • If this is your first time dealing with Hawaii's Safe Travels website, you must create an account first. 
      • Please note that the name must match, including your middle name/initial on your vaccination record card. Just to be on the safe side - if your COVID vaccination card does not have a middle name/initial, then don't include it on the safe travel site when you create an account. 
    • Sign in and follow the screen to create your profile, such as your name, occupation, etc., and accompany travelers under 18 if applicable.
    • Enter your trip details, such as flight and lodging information. 
    • After your trip details are submitted, click on Home at the top, which will take you to a page where you will see Apply for Exemption/Exception from Quarantine icon. Click on it! See the screenshot below.
    • This part is important!
      • Hawaii's Safe Travels site fails to mention this, but there are a couple processes when it comes to vaccination verification:
        • Pre-verified before arrival
        • Verifying on arrival
      • If you do not perform this step correctly, your vaccination record may not receive pre-verification before you arrive in Hawaii. Therefore, you will not receive the pre-clear wristband from the airlines. You will still be able to enter Hawaii; however, you will need to join the long queues to show your vaccination record to be manually verified on your arrival.
      • To get your vaccine record pre-verified and receive a Green QR code, you will need to use a Trusted Testing and Travel Partner or Health Pass Partner such as AZOVA, CLEAR, and CommonPass or SMART Health Card.
      • Once you are completed with the above step, you can go back to Hawaii's Safe Travels site and look for the icon that shows the Health Pass exception. See the screenshot below.
      • Click on that icon and follow the screen to link your Health Pass with Hawaii's Safe Travel to start the automatic verification process. 
      • Once the verification process is completed, you will receive an email with a Green QR code and two (2) green checkmarks underneath it. The 2 green checkmarks are essential to show that email to the airline staff at the boarding gate to receive the pre-clear wristband that allows you to skip the long queues when you arrive in Hawaii. 
    • On the other hand, if you do not use Health Pass to verify your vaccination record with Hawaii's Safe Travels, you can still enter Hawaii. However, you will not receive the wristband. You will need to join the queues on your arrival to have your vaccination record manually verified by personnel at the airport in Hawaii.  

    How to Upload Your COVID Vaccination Record Card to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program Website
    How to Upload Your COVID Vaccination Record Card to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program Website

    How to Upload Your COVID Vaccination Record Card to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program Website
    Get Pre-Clear Only When You Upload Your Vaccination Record Correctly

    Interisland Travel Testing/Quarantine Requirement

    Since June 15, 2021, you can travel between islands without the need to do any COVID testing or quarantine. This applies to everyone regardless of their vaccination status or where they were vaccinated. 

    It is still important to note that this applies only to inter-island travel. Visitors arriving from the mainland are still required to undergo the pre-travel COVID testing as outlined below or meet the vaccination requirement outlined in this article until further notice. 

    Hawaii's Pre-travel COVID Trusted Testing Partners

    UPDATE: Hawaii Announces End to Safe Travels Program on March 26, 2022. See the first section mentioned above. 

    UPDATES:
    • The State of Hawaii has decided to remove the testing/quarantine requirements for U.S. travelers who are vaccinated. This means that you no longer need to conduct pre-travel COVID testing as outlined in this article to enter Hawaii if you are vaccinated. See the section mentioned above for more information. 

    Suppose you are not vaccinated or do not meet Hawaii's vaccination requirement. In that case, you can still do pre-travel COVID testing to enter Hawaii without being subject to the mandatory self-quarantine.

    While Hawaii accepts several COVID testing partners, I personally find that Walgreens Rapid Diagnostic Test (ID Now) is the simplest and fastest way to get COVID test results for traveling to Hawaii.


    With Walgreens, you can typically have the result back in less than 24 hours, giving you ample time to fulfill Hawaii's 72 hours before departure requirement. The downside about Walgreens COVID testing is that not every town or major city offers the Rapid Test type, and Walgreen just recently offered the Rapid Testing in my town. You can also try to travel to a neighboring town too if possible. You don't have to be a resident in a state to get the test with Walgreens.


    How to Get Walgreens COVID Test

    UPDATE: Hawaii Announces End to Safe Travels Program on March 26, 2022. See the first section mentioned above. 

    UPDATES: 
    • The State of Hawaii has decided to remove the testing/quarantine requirements for U.S. travelers who are vaccinated. This means that you no longer need to conduct pre-travel COVID testing as outlined in this article to enter Hawaii if you are vaccinated. See the section mentioned above for more information. 

    First of all, go to this Walgreens website and see if Rapid Diagnostic Test (ID Now) is offered in your area. You want to see the Red Dot that says Rapid Diagnostic Test (ID Now). This type of test is accepted by the Hawaii government. 



    • Step 1: Check your flight information. Note down the airport, departure date, and time of your last flight into Hawaii. For example, if you leave from Salt Lake City to Seattle to Honolulu, the flight information you need to note is the final segment from Seattle to Honolulu. 
    • Step 2: Use this calculator and determine the earliest date and time based on your Hawaii-bound flight's departure time zone that you will be doing the COVID testing to comply with Hawaii's 72 hours before departure requirement. Remember that it is within 72 hours (including time zone) of your last segment Hawaii-bound flight. 
    • Step 3: Once you know the necessary date and time, it is vital to understand how scheduling Walgreens Rapid Testing works. 
      • You can only schedule online here, and you can only schedule 3 days before your desired testing date. 
      • It is also possible that some testing site's appointments can be filled up pretty fast. So be proactive and set a reminder. I noticed that the appointment slots can open 4-3 days prior, so I would check 4 days beforehand, especially in the evening. This is to ensure you see a lot of time slots that work best for you. 
      • On the Walgreens COVID testing website, click on Get started button to go through a series of questions and your health insurance information. If you do not have insurance, the system will still allow you to proceed. According to Walgreens, if the state or your insurance company does not cover your testing fee, it will cost you $129 for the Rapid Diagnostic Test. 
    • Step 4: After the scheduling is complete, you'll receive two emails. One email is just an acknowledgment of your appointment, and the second one is your actual testing appointment's confirmation. The second email is the one that you will need. 
    • Step 5: Be sure to bring an ID and your confirmation email to the testing site on the day of your testing. You can either print out that email or show it on your phone. 

    That's it! The testing process is straightforward and well streamlined. You must do a drive-through, and you can't walk into Walgreens to do the test. You'll be instructed accordingly by the Walgreens agent to perform the test.

    Wait for your test result via email. If it's positive, you should cancel the trip. If it's negative, congratulation! But you are not done yet; you must upload the result to Hawaii's safe travels website that I'll walk you through below.


    How to Upload Your COVID Testing Result to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program Website

    UPDATE: Hawaii Announces End to Safe Travels Program on March 26, 2022. See the first section mentioned above. 

    UPDATES:
    • The following steps are for those who only choose to do pre-travel COVID testing. If you are vaccinated, you can skip this section. 
    • The State of Hawaii has decided to remove the testing/quarantine requirements for U.S. travelers who are vaccinated. This means that you no longer need to conduct pre-travel COVID testing as outlined in this article to enter Hawaii if you are vaccinated. See the section mentioned above for more information. 

    Once you have received your negative COVID testing result, you must do the following:

    • Download and save your lab's negative test result in a PDF file from your email. 
    • Go to Hawaii's Safe Travels Website
    • Create an account. Please note that the name must match, including your middle name/initial on your lab result. Just to be safe, if your lab result does not have a middle name/initial, don't include it on the safe travel site when you create an account. 
    • Sign in and follow the screen to create your profile, such as your name, occupation, etc., and accompany travelers under 18 if applicable.
    • Enter your trip details, such as flight and lodging information. 
    • After your trip details are submitted, click on Home at the top, which will take you to a page where you will see Apply for Exemption/Exception from Quarantine icon. Click on it and go to COVID NAAT/PCR Test Exception to start uploading your negative COVID test result pdf file that you downloaded in the first step.  
    How to Upload Your COVID Vaccination Record Card to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program Website

    At this point, once your test result is successfully uploaded, you are done with Hawaii's Safe Travels registration. 

    There's one more step you have to do!

    Complete Mandatory Health Questionnaire

    UPDATES: 
    • Te following step is no longer required. 

    I promise this is the last step!

    24 hours before your Hawaii-bound flight, you must complete a mandatory travel health questionnaire. I love that Hawaii's Safe Travels site also sends a reminder when it is time for you to complete the health questionnaire. This step is required to receive your "clearance" QR code. 

    • 24 hours before your Hawaii-bound flight, go to Hawaii's Safe Travels Website
    • Click on Health Questionnaire
    • Answer each question on the questionnaire, such as are you sick, have you had a flu vaccine, have taken medication within the last 24 hours to treat fever, and so on. Accept the signature and click Submit. 
      • It is worth mentioning that if you have had flu vaccine recently, there's no need to worry about saying Yes on the questionnaire. 
    • Once the questionnaire is submitted, a QR code will be generated and sent to your email address. 

    The QR code is your key to entering Hawaii. The QR code will be scanned when you arrive in Hawaii. You can show the QR code on your mobile phone by signing into the safe travels site and clicking on Trips. It is also recommended that you print the QR code out if you can. Rental car companies and lodging places also require the QR code to provide you any services. 

    If you are flying with Alaska Airlines, you can perform "Pre-Clearance" before the departure of your Hawaii-bound flight.


    What happens if my flight is delayed? Will it impact the 72 hours validity of my COVID test results?

    UPDATE: Hawaii Announces End to Safe Travels Program on March 26, 2022. See the first section mentioned above. 

    • The following steps are for those who only choose to do pre-travel COVID testing. If you are vaccinated, you can skip this section. 

    If your flight is delayed or canceled - as long as your test results are uploaded or printed out and in hand before departure to Hawaii, you are fine. They will still accept that test result even your result is outside of the 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii due to the delay caused by the airline. This is what Hawaii's government said:

    If your flight delay is within same-day travel, due to the airlines’ decision, i.e., weather or mechanical, you will not need to do anything in Safe Travels. Your test results will be accepted on the same day. Test results need to be uploaded in Safe Travels or printed out and in hand PRIOR to departure to Hawai‘i.

    How Does Alaska Airlines COVID Hawaii Pre-Clear Work?

    UPDATE: Hawaii Announces End to Safe Travels Program on March 26, 2022. See the first section mentioned above. 

    If you are flying with Alaska Airlines, they partner with the Hawaii government to offer COVID Pre-Clear program. The program allows you to clear COVID results screening before arriving in Hawaii. Once you are successfully pre-cleared, you can simply skip airport arrival screening in Hawaii.


    To qualify for Pre-Clear before the departure of your Hawaii-bound flight:

    • Every adult traveler must have a Safe Travels profile.
    • All flight details and lodging info have been added.
    • Negative test results from a trusted testing partner or vaccination records are successfully uploaded and pre-verified by Hawaii's Safe Travels. 
      • You can identify whether you are pre-verified or not to receive the wristband by looking at the QR code in your email. If you see two green checkmarks underneath your QR code, you are good to receive the wristband and can skip the lines to have your vaccination record manually cleared upon arrival in Hawaii. See How to Upload Your COVID Vaccination Record Card to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program Website
      • If not, you will not receive the wristband, and you will need to be manually cleared upon arrival in Hawaii. The line to have that checked sometimes can be tediously long before you can exit the airport. 

    When you arrive at the departure gate for your Hawaii-bound flight, you can go see an Alaska Airlines agent and ask s/he to verify your Safe Travels profile to provide you a Pre-Clear wristband. Your Pre-Clear wristband will allow you to save time upon arriving in Hawaii without going through the airport arrival screening process. The rental car company and lodging may still need to verify your Safe Travels profile through the QR code. 


    For more frequently asked questions, check the official website here.


    Best Hawaii Resorts You Can Book For Free Nights With Points

    Hawaii can be an expensive destination to vacation. Fortunately, several hotels and resorts in Hawaii participate in many hotel chains such as IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott, which have reward points programs that allow you to use points to redeem for a free stay. Some hotel chains even offer credit cards that give you free night certificate(s) every year that you can also use to redeem for a complimentary stay in Hawaii.