How to Travel to Hawaii During Covid-19


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Travel to Hawaii During COVID-19

My experience traveling to Hawaii 11/24/2020-12/1/2020


this is JUST my experience with travel to Hawaii during COVID – please reference this website to ensure that you are following the most up to date restrictions

The State of Hawaii has a 14-day mandatory self-quarantine in place for U.S. Mainland or International travelers arriving into the state, as well as for inter-island travelers arriving in Maui, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, or Hawaii Island.

Starting Oct. 15, the state launched its pre-travel testing program, offering guests traveling from the U.S. Mainland to Hawaii the option to forego the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.

Travelers who take a valid COVID-19 test no MORE than 72 hours prior to arriving in Hawaii, and upload a negative result into their Safe Travels account PRIOR to the final leg of their trip into Hawaii will be exempt from the self-quarantine. Otherwise, the State of Hawaii requires that you quarantine for 14 days or the length of your stay, whichever is shorter. Click here for more information.

Step 1: Register with the State of Hawaii Safe Travels online system. I would do this before you even book your tickets. The restrictions to the state’s pre-travel testing program are updated daily (ex. Kaui is no longer participating -> All incoming trans-pacific and inter-county travelers to Kauai will face a mandatory 14-day quarantine) and this website is where you will upload all of your travel info.


Step 2: Find a trusted testing travel partner and schedule your test ASAP based on your travel days/flight info->

IMPORTANT:  The state of Hawai‘i will ONLY accept Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from TRUSTED TESTING AND TRAVEL PARTNERS: American Family Care (AFC), American Samoa Department of Health, Atlas Genomics, Bartell Drugs, Capstone Clinic, Carbon Health, CityHealth Urgent Care at Oakland Airport, Clarity Lab Solutions, Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii, Color, Costco/AZOVA, CVS Health, Diagnostic Laboratory Services (Hawaii), Discovery Health MD, GoHealth Urgent Care, Hawaii Pacific Health, Kaiser Permanente, Minit Medical, National Kidney Foundation of Hawaiʻi’s Consortium, through an agreement with the City and County of Honolulu, S&G Labs Hawai‘i LLC, University of Washington Medicine, Urgent Care Hawaii, Vault Health, Walgreens, WestPac Labs, and XpresCheck (as of 11/20/20).

I am located in San Francisco and have you used Color testing for COVID-19 regularly. They have a drive-through service on the Embarcadero that I find VERY easy to use, but appointments are very limited right now. If you are traveling on United to Hawaii it looks like they have a partnership here.

For this trip, I used the Vault Health service. Vault Health is an at-home FDA-authorized saliva test with real-time audio-visual supervision via Zoom. Tests available for ages five and older. Tests are mailed with accurate results in 72 hours or less. Information and costs can be found here.

Use this chart to ensure that you order and take your test on the correct days before your flight.
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We traveled on a Tuesday and if you take anything away from this blog post it would be to NOT travel on a Tuesday or Wednesday to Hawaii! It is next to impossible to get your test results in a timely manner with the Vault Health testing due to UPS not shipping on Sundays. I took my test on a Saturday, ran to the closest CVS that had a Saturday pickup from UPS before 2 pm and my results didn’t arrive until 3:30 am Tuesday morning before my 8 am flight!

THIS WAS VERY STRESSFUL and I would suggest avoiding it at all costs.


Some additional tips from Vault Health for travel to Hawaii during COVID

FOR PASSENGERS TRAVELING ON TUESDAYS & WEDNESDAYS: Due to no Sunday UPS shipping and an increase in UPS holiday traffic, we encourage passengers to look for a local testing solution if traveling on a Tuesday or Wednesday for the remainder of the year.

Make sure to take your test over zoom in the morning and deliver your test to your local UPS store before the last air pick-up time for the day. Please make sure that your test is dropped at a verified UPS store, not a dropbox or 3rd-party affiliate. Click here to find the closest UPS store to you.

If you are taking the test on a Saturday, please verify with your local UPS store that the store has Saturday UPS Air Pickups.

We advise that you order your test at least one week before you plan on taking it.

Shipping to/from Maui, Kauai, Hawaii Island, Molokai, and Lanai may require an additional shipping day which may lead to results being provided outside of the 72-hour testing window. Please plan accordingly or consider a different testing solution.


Step 3: Upload the pdf of your negative test results to your Safe Travels profile.


Step 4:  24 hours prior to departure, log into Safe Travels, and complete the Travel Health Questionnaire and receive your QR code upon completion.

You will use this QR code to board your flight to Hawaii. They did not let anyone on our flight without a QR code.

Once we landed in Maui we went straight into a Safe Travel control line. The airport was staffed with a ton of people in yellow shirts guiding us through the process. It was almost like passport control, but the lines were shorter and the process was very quick and efficient.

We had to show our QR codes one more time when we checked into the hotel and then we were good!


Step 5: Grab a Mai Tai and enjoy beautiful Hawaii!


Remember to pack your mask and/or facial coverings in your carry-on luggage.

Masks are mandatory in Hawaii and must be worn in public.


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One Comment

  1. It’s great to learn that you can get accurate results from COVID-19 tests within 3 days. My wife and I are wanting to get tested for COVD before we leave on vacation and we were wondering how long it takes to get results from the test. I’ll be sure to tell her that we should expect results within 3 days.

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