The Coronavirus is certainly causing concern around the world. It seems like there’s news about it every minute of the day. We are closely following the situation and updating this article as well as our original Coronavirus in Hawaii article on a daily basis.
Are there any cases of Coronavirus COVID-19 in Hawaii?
Through midday May 28, 2020, there have been 647, known, positive cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 in Hawaii. That is the cumulative total since the first case in early March. Over 591 of those patients have recovered and been released from isolation.
Positive COVID-19 cases have been identified on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Molokai and Hawaii (Big) Island. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases are on Oahu, which is the most populated island.
Over 80% of the cases were brought to Hawaii by residents who traveled outside of the state. We have more details and the timeline of cases on our page with Hawaii Coronavirus updates.
What should I do if I have an upcoming trip to Hawaii?
A mandatory 14-day self-quarantine was implemented for all incoming visitors and residents. Visitors must confine themselves to their hotel room during the quarantine. (Details of the quarantine are in the section below.) On May 14, 2020, Gov. Ige extended the 14-day quarantine for all incoming visitors and residents until June 30, 2020. In a Facebook broadcast on May 28, the governor indicated that this quarantine will be extended beyond June.
Visitors who have violated quarantine orders have been cited, arrested and forced to go back home. Officials are considering the use of tracking devices to monitor tourists while on quarantine.
Beyond the self-quarantine, the entire state of Hawaii is on “safer at home” orders which have also been extended until June 30, 2020.
When will travel to Hawaii be back to normal? We will all have to wait and see. According a an economic report, the state is not anticipating the reopening of tourism until September 2020. That’s just an assumption, but perhaps a telling one. In the meantime, we recommend you err on the side of caution and postpone your trip further out. How much further out? We don’t know and no one knows, but it’s clear that May is too soon. June could possibly be too soon as well. See our May 5th update for early predictions on reopening tourism.
If I proceed with my trip to Hawaii, what might I expect?
If you go now, you will not experience Hawaii as normal. In fact, you won’t even be able to enjoy the islands much at all. The governor of Hawaii has issued a quarantine period until further notice. As the governor says, it’s best to postpone a trip.
14-day Mandatory Quarantine
Starting March 26, 2020 at 12:01am, a 14-day quarantine is required for all incoming arrivals at all Hawaii airports. This emergency proclamation order mandating a quarantine “will be in effect until further notice”, per the governor’s press conference on March 21, 2020.
Here’s an excerpt from Hawaii Governor Ige’s press release detailing the quarantine:
All visitors and residents arriving through Hawaiʻi’s airports will be required to complete a Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture form that will be distributed onboard their flight. They will retain the form when disembarking the aircraft. Upon arrival, they will go through a checkpoint and present the completed form with a valid identification. Checkpoint staff will validate the form and issue documentation that certifies they cleared the checkpoint. The form also includes information on the mandatory requirements for the 14-day quarantine along with penalties.
The mandatory 14-day self-quarantine orders are:
- Proceed directly from the airport to your designated quarantine location, which is the location identified and affirmed by you on the mandatory State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture Plants and Animals Declaration Form.
- Remain in your designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of your stay in the State of Hawai‘i, whichever is shorter.
- If you are a resident, your designated quarantine location is your place of residence.
- If you are a visitor, your designated quarantine location is your hotel room or rented lodging.
- You can only leave your designated quarantine location for medical emergencies or to seek medical care.
- Do not visit any public spaces, including but not limited to pools, meeting rooms, fitness centers or restaurants.
- Do not allow visitors in or out of your designated quarantine location other than a physician, healthcare provider, or individual authorized to enter the designated quarantine location by the Director of HIEMA.
- Comply with any and all rules or protocols related to your quarantine as set forth by your hotel or rented lodging.
- If you become ill with a fever or cough:
- Continue to stay in designated quarantine location, avoid contact with others and contact a healthcare provider for further instructions on treatment or testing.
- If you are older or have any medical conditions (e.g., immune compromise, diabetes, asthma), consult your regular healthcare provider.
- If you feel you need medical care, contact healthcare provider and inform them of your travel history.
- If you need urgent medical care (e.g., have difficulty breathing), call 9-1-1 and let the dispatcher know your travel history).
Failure to follow this order is a misdemeanor and punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. Enforcement will be handled by each of Hawaii’s four counties.
The traveler is fully responsible for the cost of the quarantine.
For further information regarding restrictions and declarations, see the alerts page at the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
If you have any questions regarding this quarantine order, email local government at: CovidExemption@hawaii.gov.
How long will the Hawaii 14-day quarantine be in effect? On May 14, 2020, quarantine orders were extended until June 30, 2020. The orders have already been extended, so it could possibly be extended again.
Beginning the week of April 5, 2020, the Hawaii National Guard began screening passengers at Hawaii airports per HNN.
In June, some restaurants are returning to limited dine-in services.
Hawaii Events & Attractions
Numerous parks, tours and attractions are closed!
Many top attractions, state parks and national parks are shut down or partially shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Festivals and special events such as concerts and sporting events are cancelled.
Most Hawaii hotels are closed temporally.
Grocery stores are open. Some reports indicate empty shelves due to panic buying. The shipment of replenishment supplies is due to continue as normal.
State-wide Stay at Home Orders
Residents are ordered to stay at home. The governor is still recommending that residents stay at home as much as possible calling it a “safer-at-home” order
Protests and negative sentiments towards visitors
Hawaii is usually a hospitable destination that’s known for aloha, but these are unusual times. Before the quarantine was enacted, there were several reports of protests against visitors on multiple islands. The DOH is concerned that there’s a growing stigma against visitors despite the fact that the vast majority of the cases are residents who returned to Hawaii after traveling outside of the state. This opinion piece from the state’s largest newspaper is a sad summation of the negative sentiment that’s been growing in Hawaii.
Check to see if you can get a refund or postpone your trip.
Explore your options for refunds or postponed trips. If you have a trip booked, look into your options to cancel without penalties.
- Due to the Coronavirus, many airlines are allowing more lenient travel waivers to allow you to change or cancel your flight without a fee. Check directly with the airline for your booking to understand their policies.
- Check to see if you can cancel you hotel reservation.
- Check to see if you can cancel your rental car or transport reservation. Generally, rental cars are more forgiving with cancellations.
What should I know about cruises to Hawaii during the Coronavirus?
The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs issued an advisory statement on March 8, 2020 stating, “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship. CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment.” See the full statement here.
In light of the Department of State advisory statement, you should learn what your options are for cancellation. Check with your travel agent and/or with the cruise company directly. Additionally, check frequently for any modifications or cancellations to your cruise itinerary.
According to an economic outlook report prepared by the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, they are not anticipating cruise visitors until the second half of 2021.
Several cruise companies have gone on a voluntary pause. Check directly with your travel agent or the cruise company of your booking for their plans to restart cruises.
When will Hawaii be back to normal after the Coronavirus?
When will Hawaii reopen for visitors without the restrictions of a mandatory quarantine?
In mid-May, the governor stated, that it is going to be weeks or even months before Hawaii is ready to welcome visitors again.
It’s probably better to err on the side of caution by postponing your trip even more than you might initially expect. An economic report assumes
The governor’s mandatory 14-day quarantine order is in effect until June 30, 2020 and could possibly be extended even further. A economic outlook report prepared in May assumes tourism reopening in September.
Our advice is to err on the side of caution and postpone trips to Hawaii for even longer than you might anticipate.
We are updating this article on a daily basis. When government officials begin to indicate a lift in the quarantine and stay-at-home orders, we will share that information with our readers, so subscribe to our free email updates to be alerted to that information as well as our ongoing Hawaii travel advice.
Tips & Tricks for Staying Healthy During the Coronavirus Crisis
Here are some tips for avoiding catching a cold or virus while traveling.
– Wear a mask.
– Bring your own antibacterial wipes – for example Lysol and Clorox wipes — to clean surfaces you touch at your airplane seat. In addition to the obvious, tray tables and arm rests, also wipe the area you would use to open the seat pocket in front of you. (If possible, avoid using the seat pocket at all because studies have shown that they are very germ-laden.) Wipe the air vent, too. In addition to the touch points around your seat, consider using an antibacterial wipe to clean touch points in the lavatory.
– Use antibacterial wipes on surfaces you’ll touch in a hotel room – such as light switches, faucets, lamp switches, remote controls, telephone, etc.
– Bring hand sanitizer and/or antibacterial wipes that are safe for cleaning your hands. (The Lysol and Clorox-type wipes are too harsh for regular hand cleaning.)
– Avoid touching your face.
– Avoid being around people who appear to be sick.
– Personally, I would avoid buffets.
– Stay hydrated as it helps your immune system.
– Consider using a supplement that claims to boost your immune system. How much it helps, we don’t know, but if your doctor approves, it may be a good idea. Experts recommend getting your vitamins and minerals from your food, but when you travel you are not always in control of well-balanced, immune-boosting meals. Personally we’ve had good experience using Airborne chewables when we travel.
– Bring a thermometer with you. The Coronavirus COVID-19 is known to cause a fever.
– Pack a baggie of medicine, just in case you feel unwell.
– Bring a longer supply of prescription medications just in case your trip gets unexpectedly extended or you are put in quarantine.
– When in Hawaii, call 2-1-1 for general questions about COVID-19.
We are frequently updating this page with new Hawaii and travel-related Coronavirus information as it becomes available. We recommend bookmarking this page. We may also be writing new articles regarding this evolving situation. Subscribe to our free email updates to be alerted to those articles as well as our ongoing Hawaii travel advice.
A word of caution as you read the comments below:
This situation has changed rapidly. Policies that may have been weeks, days or even hours ago, may no longer be valid. If you read the comments, be sure and note the date.
We are updating this article multiple times per day. It’s better to read this article rather than the comments to know the latest and most up to date information.
Finally, once again, we do not know when travel restrictions to Hawaii will be lifted. Nobody knows. When we do know something we will share that information with our readers, so subscribe to our free email updates to be alerted to that information as well as our ongoing Hawaii travel advice.