The latest Hawaii Coronavirus COVID-19 updates & travel restrictions

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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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    1. Do not visit any public spaces, including but not limited to pools, meeting rooms, fitness centers or restaurants.
    2. 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.
    3. Comply with any and all rules or protocols related to your quarantine as set forth by your hotel or rented lodging.
    4. 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.

Airport Screenings

Beginning the week of April 5, 2020, the Hawaii National Guard began screening passengers at Hawaii airports per HNN

Restaurants 

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.

Hotels

Most Hawaii hotels are closed temporally.

Grocery Stores

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.

70 comments
  1. We are planing to go to the big island in May, still not sure if we should cancel the trip, or how long we can wait before we can cancel without penalty.

  2. What would happen if you travel to a resort in hawaii and the state enforces quarantines. Could travelers leave? Would travelers be confined to their hotel room?

  3. Myself and family are scheduled to travel to Maui on Thur. We are all below 55 years of age and above 5. I can cancel now with limited penalty. Looking for a voice of reason to help us decide…

    1. All we can do is point to the current facts. Maui remains “open” to visitors. Hotels and restaurants are open. Some attractions are starting to close in Hawaii. Most notable on Maui is that Haleakala National Park is temporally closing their visitor centers and sunrise viewing. An active case of COVID-19 has been identified on Maui.

  4. My family and I are scheduled to travel to Oahu for my sister-in-law’s wedding. We have no intention on cancelling but is there anything we should be aware of that could effect our plans? (ie bans on groups of people, closures of restaurants, etc.) Like what’s happening on the mainland.

  5. I’m curious to know more about the restaurant and grocery situation. Any information you can share? Shelves are empty in many states….How is the food situation there (Big Island)?

      1. In a press conference on March 17, 2020, Hawaii Governor Ige said that restaurants should stop dine-in services. Instead they should offer delivery or take-out only.

  6. I am curious about the attitude of Hawaiians having tourists during this time. We are scheduled to travel to Kauai in a month, and while I would hate to cancel, I would also hate to be inconsiderate to others during this time.

    1. The governor has asked visitors to postpone their trip for at least 30 days.

      Tourism is vital for Hawaii’s economy, but we are seeing/hearing some anger and blame aimed at tourists as a whole, because some visitors have unknowingly brought the virus to Hawaii.

  7. Had a trip booked for to Kauai next Thursday, planned since 3 months ago. I was going to go ahead with it, until I saw the governor’s speech today, asking visitors to put off trips for 30days. We are healthy and we plan to really only going to do hikes while we are out there… Should we cancel in lieu of the speech? really been Looking forward to this 🙁

    1. Many state parks where you might hike are closing due to the Coronavirus. All Kauai State Parks are closing effective March 18, 20202. We updated this list yesterday with that announcement.

      I’m sure it’s very disappointing. Hopefully you can plan another trip in the future.

  8. I’m thinking to make a reservation soon by flight in October 2020, is it safe for me to fly to Oahu? I need to know whether I should make a reservation or not. Thanks

    1. We have no way of knowing when this virus crisis will be over. We would hope everything would be settled down by October.

      1. Also, consider if your reservations can be cancelled without a penalty or not. If you can cancel without losing any money, then it may be worth booking and waiting to see what happens.

  9. I am getting married on Oahu in mid June. Should we still keep our plans and see what happens in the next couple of months? It’s not going to be a large group. Curious as to what your thoughts are.

    1. We wish we knew the right answer to give you, but no one knows when this virus crisis is going to be over. We hope it’s all clear by June, but there’s no way to know. If you have the opportunity cancel without a penalty, there’s no harm in waiting to see what happens. Best wishes.

  10. We are scheduled to vacation April 6-12 in Maui, and are not sure we can get reimbursed for our condo. Are the restaurants still open for dine in ? Are the shops in Lahaina open? Do the stores have food and toiletries to purchase for the condo for the week or are the shelves bare? Are luaus still being held? Thanks

    1. THE GOVERNOR OF HAWAII HAS ASKED VISITORS TO POSTPONE TRIPS BY AT LEAST 30 DAYS.

      RESTAURANTS ARE ONLY SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE TAKE OUT OR DELIVERY. NO DINE-IN.

      SOME STORE SHELVES ARE REPORTED AS BEING EMPTY DUE TO PANIC BUYING.

  11. ATTENTION:

    For anyone reading the comments, be sure and note the date. This situation has changed rapidly and what was true a week ago or days ago have probably changed.

    Be sure and read the main article to learn the most recent information. The article is updated multiple times per day.

  12. Landing this Sunday in Hawaii from Australia, leaving on Monday for Phoenix (Hawaiian Airlines). One overnight stay in local hotel. Does this exempt us from any “2 Week” quarantine if implemented in the next couple of days?

    1. So far today, we’ve not seen any news about actual implementation of a quarantine. If it was agreed to move forward with a quarantine, would they be able to get everything in place to enforce it over the weekend? We really don’t know. These are such unusual times to say the least!

  13. I feel a lot of people asking questions are being ignorant and selfish. My family and I planned and paid for a trip to travel April 4th to Maui. Our hotel cancelled it and will refund all monies within 30 days. This is not a selfish time to think about yourselves. Yes.. do not live in fear. if you decide to continue with your trip.. just know, it WILL NOT be the same experience. We go to Hawaii once or twice a year && we are bummed about it… but hold off until curve is flatten. It will get better. My suggestion is reschedule for future… get the credit if you can. Stop the spread… Stay home! From A Registered Nurse..

  14. My son and I are scheduled to visit last week of June 2020. Do you think I should reschedule? I have had no cancellations from our planned day trips or the hotel. Thanks.

    1. As we say in the article, right now (end of March), unfortunately no one knows. It’s best to err on the side of caution with all the uncertainty.

  15. My husband and I have a planned move scheduled to The Big Island on June 1st . Our plane tickets are purchased and we signed a 6 month lease agreement, just before all of this happened. I am not so worried about the plane tickets, but I checked the lease and nowhere does it have a clause addressing this kind of situation. Will we be able to break the lease and stay put or will we be held to making lease payments? Our timing is the worst – but we want to be safe and make sure our future neighbors in Hawaii are safe.

  16. What are the current policies on travel from Hilo thru HNL to the mainland?
    What documentation is required, are there any additional TSA requirements?

    1. This article is up to date for existing restrictions.

      Nobody knows what the restrictions will be next week, next month or beyond.

  17. I am scheduled to be in oahu for a week in early May. With a 14 quarantine how does that work? I will not be there the full 14 days.

    1. Unless the quarantine is lifted, you will be required to be in quarantine the entire duration of your trip. The quarantine requirements are detailed in the article.

  18. well I hope hawaii is open in July we are coming the 4th of july weekend. We have scheduled to be there and have not received anything on cancellations yet.

  19. Can an owner of property return to their part time home and leave prior to the end of the 14 day quarantine period. Also, on the way from the airport to one’s residence, can you stop at the grocery store for provisions for your stay?

    1. Read points 1 & 2 of the ‘mandatory 14-day quarantine orders” in the article.

      The mandatory 14-day self-quarantine orders are:

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

  20. Can a person travel to Hawaii to visit family that live on a military base during covid19? I would hope the military would NOT allow them on base. There is obviously a 14 day self quarantine to come to Hawaii, and a stay at home order.

  21. Will the 14-day quarantine be lifted after May 31, 2020? Or will it still continue after the May 31, 2020 stay-at-home order?

  22. Recreational boating is restricted to two persons per boat. But commercial fishing (for the production of food) is exempt from this restriction. Question: if a non-commercial boat is used to fish for food for private consumption, does the two person restriction apply, or is it waived?

    1. We have no idea. Maybe if you contact your mayor’s office or the governor’s office they could provide guidance.

  23. I just found out a family member has passed away on Oahu, I live on the Big Island. If I fly in for the funeral (they are having a service), will I be required to stay 14 days or can I fly back to Hilo within a week.

    1. I’m sorry for your loss.

      It’s my understanding that the 14-day quarantine for inter-island travel is still in effect. Even with the inter-island quarantine, travelers, whether residents or visitors, are not allowed outside of their place of lodging for 14-days, but you do not have to stay for 14 days. If you only plan a week, you can still travel, but you cannot go outside of your lodging for a week. You can only travel to and from the airport.

      There’s been some talk of lifting the inter-island quarantine prior to May 31, 2020, but we don’t know when/if that’s going to happen.

  24. Hello my Husband and I are moving to Hawaii as soon as possible and traveling with our 3 dogs. When we called Hawaiian Airlines they stated that no dogs were traveling into Hawaii right now during the pandemic? Has this been lifted? Can we travel now?

  25. We own a home on the Big Island, but haven’t been able to visit and check on our home since Oct 2019! I have planned to visit and to set up & work on our home ASAP! I understand about the 14 day quarantine and am wondering since we own a home will I be allowed to arrive and be able to get needed supplies food essentials etc needed for stay and time on island as a resident?

    1. If you read the orders, it clearly states that you must proceed directly from the airport to your designated quarantine location. Same applies whether visitor or returning resident.

  26. We are scheduled to arrive on June 28th. If the quarantine goes through the end of June does that mean we no longer have to be quarantined on July 1st? Or do we still have to quarantine for two weeks? If we arrived on July 1st instead, it sounds like we wouldn’t have to quarantine at all.

    I’m starting to think the quarantine will extended beyond July 1st. Lots of jurisdictions in WA state are cancelling their 4th of July celebrations and other summer events.

    1. The quarantine could be extended again.

      What the government officials are currently saying is that they would like to have a method for incoming travelers to be tested prior to their trip or worst case upon arrival in a Hawaii airport. There are a lot of logistics and proverbial hoops to jump through to make that happen. See this article for the concept: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2020/05/12/when-travel-to-hawaii-reopens-will-covid-19-testing-of-visitors-be-required/ That’s what they want to have in place before lifting the quarantine orders.

  27. Just found out my trip for June 4 was cancelled. Thank God I was able to get credits for everything so I can reschedule later. I pray this is all over soon, not so I can travel but so that life can get back to normal.

  28. I have a guest coming to oahu..I’m a resident of Hawaii..when my guest is quarantined at the hotel..can I also stay with her for the duration of her quarantine for the two weeks?

    1. We’re not sure. It’s probably best to check with the mayor’s or governor’s office for clarification.

  29. I have health issues and need to move in with my brother; who lives in Maui. I am coming from Atlanta. I am needing my brothers help here in ATL to pack some things up. Several questions; what will leaving and reentering intail for my brother? What will entering intail for me? …and what about animals; in particular two cats?
    Thank you for your time and information

    1. Bear in mind that we are not government authorities so we’re not experts who can offer definitive advice. Also, with COVID19, so many policies are changing and moving targets. Both you and your brother will have to quarantine in place (no shopping, no going to beaches, etc.) for 14-days. Pets will need to go into quarantine as well. You should check out Hawaii’s page for animal quarantine and ask them specifically about your situation. Here’s their page: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/aqs-info/

    1. Some parks are starting some limited reopening.

      Perhaps a more important question is – will the mandatory 14-day quarantine be lifted in July? That’s still to be determined and we would not be surprised to see it extended.

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