Starting October 15th, travelers with a negative COVID-19 pre-test can visit Hawaii without quarantine

Update – after multiple delays, the Hawaii will begin the pre-travel testing program on October 15th. See this update regarding the revised date and further details.

On June 24, 2020, Governor Ige announced that a pre-travel testing program will be launched for out-of-state  travelers to Hawaii. With proof of a valid negative COVID-19 test completed within 72 hours before arriving, visitors will not be subject to the 14-day quarantine. This process is due to begin August 1 September 1, October 1, October 15, 2020.
The proposed requirements of the pre-travel COVID-19 testing are as follows:
  • Must be conducted within 72-hours prior to the final leg of departure.
  • Must be conducted at a testing location approved by the Hawaii State Department of Health. The DOH is in the process of developing this program, but originally stated that it would need to be a FDA-approved PCR test from a CLIA certified laboratory per Gov. Ige’s press release. Later, the Hawaii Tourism Authority page says that it is to be a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab. By the time this process is implemented, other testing options may become available. Lt. Gov. Green mentioned that CVS is a national pharmacy that will very likely be an approved testing site. Officials are seeking other large testing partners similar to CVS as well as tests provided by private physicians. The state will establish contractual relationships with some of the national testing sites, such as CVS and Walgreens, to allow testing for travelers. * Update: See this page for the list of approved tests and testing partners.
  • Evidence of a negative test result must be provided upon arrival in Hawaii. Per Gov. Ige’s press release regarding this announcement. They anticipate that travelers can provide either a printed or emailed pre-test certification as evidence of a negative test result.
  • The traveler is responsible for the cost of testing.
  • If a traveler does not have their test results by the time they arrive in Hawaii, they will be required to go into quarantine until they receive a negative test result.
  • Other details are still to be determined.

Additionally, upon arrival in Hawaii, all travelers will be required to submit a completed Safe Travels application. Temperature checks will be conducted. If a traveler has a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher and/or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, the traveler will be subject to a secondary screening process.

Visitors arriving to Hawaii without a COVID-10 pre-test will continue to be subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
In the June 24th press conference, Hawaii officials noted that the process of 72-hour, pre-travel testing is not perfect, but they are in agreement that it will greatly reduce the risk of spreading the virus within Hawaii.
Though not part of this pre-travel testing announcement, in the question and answer session, the governor was asked about travel corridors with other countries with low COVID-19 rates. He said that travel corridors are still being considered and that he is in initial discussions with Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

Details still to be determined regarding Hawaii’s COVID-19 pre-testing program

As stated in the governor’s press conference, the pre-testing plan is still being detailed. Lt. Gov. Green said that more details of the plan will be announced in the coming weeks.
Just a few of the questions that will need to be answered: 
– How much will the tests cost?
– What happens if someone tests positive for COVID-19 on their 72-hour, pre-travel test? Will they receive refunds or credits for airfare, accommodations and other travel expenses.
– What tests and testing sites will be approved for pre-testing?
– How exactly will the 72-hour window be defined? At departure? Upon arrival?
– What if the test results are not supplied within 72-hours and/or prior to the tourist’s flight? What would be the process for presenting a negative test result after arrival?
– Will a printed test result be required? Can a traveler present an emailed-test response?
– How feasible will it be to to take a test and receive the result within 72 hours or less?
– Will children need to be tested?
– When should residents get tested if they are taking short trips outside of the state?
Update: Many of these questions have been answered. The best resource page to reference is: Getting to Hawaii. That page walks travelers through the processes to go to Hawaii.
Once again, very limited details were mentioned in this press conference. The key point is that the 72-hour, COVID-19 pre-testing program is due to begin August 1 September 1, October 1, October 15, 2020.
As more details emerge, we will publish them. If you are not already subscribed to our free email newsletter, you can sign up for it at this link.
Check our Go Visit Hawaii homepage for a listing of new articles that may offer additional information and/or information that may supersede what’s in the above article.
    1. We can’t say for certain as that’s in the future, but our guess is most likely, yes. Residents in Hawaii are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.

    2. guess we will never be visiting Hawaii ever again. Or until they stop demanding these invasive tests. We refuse to be complicit with this violation of human rights over a virus that is now no longer lethal if you aren’t severely immune compromised and use preventative medication and treatments. Im an RN and I feel like Im living in a dystopia nightmare. we go every year to the islands and spend about 14 days and 10K. We will NOT every comply with this crap. Im so sad.

      1. That is too bad you are limiting yourself in such a way. Why do that? It is easy to get tested and it is all about protecting others. Why not do this so that you can enjoy your vacation without having to quarantine for 14 days first?

      2. It is awful that no one is allowed to visit the beautiful Islands of Hawaii, it is even more sad that the business’s over there are dependent upon tourists from all over the world. I am not too sure how many companies will still be open by the time they allow any visitors? The spikes that they are having now is due to the people that live there and the delayed test results and in turn the tourists that have already spent thousands of dollars on flights/hotel/brb are now going to have to make other arrangements to get their money back or travel somewhere else. I strongly believe that should be lifted in order for Hawaii to stay alive and also for the tourists that have already spent a pretty penny to travel there. Tourists should still strictly follow the guidelines while being in Hawaii, I just don’t think continuing to postpone that date is going to help anything.

    3. We have a trip booked for August 5th. Do we know when we can set appointments to get tested? With such a tight window, I want to make sure we can get tested within 72 hours and get the results back.

      1. We have a trip booked on August 8 are have been unable to locate a testing center that will conduct the PCR for travel purposes or guarantee the results within 72 hours. Have you had any luck finding a source?

    4. “Lt. Gov. Green mentioned that CVS is a national pharmacy that will very likely be an approved testing site.” Of course, CVS’s own web site says test results take 2 to 4 days, and can take longer. So, that is not something to count on when Hawaii says you need to have results from a test which was taken 72 hours or less from arrival in Hawaii,

      1. This plan may not start in August as previously announced. We’re waiting to hear what the governor and island mayors decide.

    1. Though not explicitly stated with this announcement, it’s our understanding that this opening with testing is for travelers from the US only at this time.

    2. ** UPDATE** We watched a chat with Lt. Gov. Green today and he said that they’re thinking that they’ll probably allow international visitors to present a negative test result from a PCR test. So you would need to find a lab that offers PCR type tests. Note that this is NOT official yet. It’s just what the lt. gov. thinks they’ll write into the plans.

    1. All that’s been stated so far is that the option for pre-testing to avoid quarantine begins August 1, 2020. If there will be any exceptions, they’ve not mentioned them.

  1. Virtually all COVID-19 tests require the person to be age 18 or older. How would this policy applies to family members younger than 18?

    The other caveat is most COVID-19 tests in northeast are limited to high risk personnel and/or people who have shown symptoms. The screening questionnaire would not allow any person to make a test appointment unless considerable symptoms are there.

  2. Local testing sites (Santa Clara County, CA) are estimating a negative test result may take five days from collecting samples to sending e-mail of the results. Does the 72-hour window of arrival apply to collecting the samples or receiving the results? If the answer is the former, then compliance is impossible.

    1. Our understanding is that within 72 hours of arrival the sample and the result must take place.

      A lot can happen between now and August 1st. Testing is progressively becoming more readily available and with quicker results. Let’s hope that trend continues to improve.

      1. Assuming that the test results continue to take five days, we start the test 72-hours before arrival and lack the test results upon arriving. Does that mean we start the 14-day quarantine? If we get negative results two days later, are we released from quarantine? I have heard that positive results are sent within a day, but negative results have a large backlog and take five days.

        1. That’s a scenario that they’ll have to address. As we’ve said, there are many details that will need to be determined.

        2. We listened in on a chat with the Lt. Gov. today. He said what he thinks will happen is that if you don’t have your results yet when you arrive, you will begin quarantine. When your results come in, you’ll take your results to a designated office and you’ll be taken off the quarantine list. That’s not official, but just what they think will be in the plan.

      2. Unfortunately in the state of Nevada that is not true. Testing is becoming more widely available and this is causing the turn around time from the state lab to take longer. For patients who need elective surgeries, they are tested and it takes 4-5 days to get the results back. For people wanting to travel, it more than likely would take longer than 4-5 days.

  3. We are scheduled to go the end of August this time around. We were hopeful that our new date would work out for us but unless testing changes, as others have said, there’s most likely no way to get the test without symptoms and even if you were to get one, it wouldn’t be back within that 72 hour period. For us, we leave Friday to stay the night in a Hotel, fly out Saturday morning, so there’s really no way for that to work out. Unfortunately, this was it for us. We’ve changed 3 times now and August was our last hope. It’s probably for the best anyway. Just hate all the money that’s lost. But I do hope it works out for some of you!

    1. I would certainly hate to lose money that I had invested in a trip, too.

      It may still be possible for your trip to happen. Our advice would be to wait and see what the details of the plan are. Fingers crossed for you!

        1. Per a live chat with the Lt. Gov. today, he said that what he thinks will be part of the plan is that if you arrive without your test results, you’ll first go to your hotel and begin quarantine while you await your results. When your results come in, you’ll take them to a designated office where they’ll remove you from the quarantine list. That’s NOT official, but what they think will be in the plan.

      1. I won’t be submitting to this violation. Im an RN with a degree in philosophy which also trained me in research and ethics. this is a complete violation of human rights over a lie about the danger of this virus now. Its over reach. My family lost half our members in the Holocaust and THIS is how it started: tracking and tracing. We spend 10K a year going to Maui. Guess they will have to do without our Aloha and money.

        1. If you are a nurse, then you understand that Hawaii doesn’t have the hospital bed capacity to deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases.

          My guess is Hawaiians wouldn’t want rich, entitled and ignorant people like you on their island anyway. Go spend you money in Texas or Florida.

          1. Wrong Adri… she is spot on! The last thing she sounds is ignorant or entitled! And yes we want her to come and spend money here!, do you just think we cut sugar cane for money??

          2. It’s not sad. It protecting the people that resides in hawaii. Its a small island. This virus spreads and its wipe off the whole island.
            Keep hawaii beautiful and people!!

  4. It is encouraging.
    Sadly, it may not be feasible, though –
    I tried to locate testing in So Cal yesterday for quick turnarounds and a few major road blocks:
    1.) There are stringent restrictions on who can receive testing.
    Ad-hoc elective travel testing is not even considered for testing.
    2.) There is a pretty large back-up for appointments.
    3.) Once tested, it takes 5-7 days for results.

    So, under current test availability, criteria and results lead time, there is no way anyone can meet the “72 hour Test and Proof Results” requirement.
    It’s simply not possible.
    We really need a travel advocate to get right in front of Governor and get all this resolved.

    Possible Solutions:
    • Drop the whole testing requirement and perform temp checks and screening only.
    • Expand the 72 hour results window to at least 10 days.
    • Partner with Pharmacy and Medical Industry to provide urgent “Travel Testing”, and sooner than later.
    Remember, most vacations have “balance due” on July 1st for vacations booked for Aug 1 arrival (me).
    Payment in full 30 days prior is the standard.
    So, the Governor essentially has 4 days to get this figured out and resolved.
    Otherwise, this new plan will not help travelers.

    Respectfully, Lair

    1. Perhaps you could reach out to Lt. Gov. Josh Green. He seems to be very instrumental in putting this testing plan in place. Ultimately the governor makes the call, though.

    2. Lair, You stated everything I was thinking! We as homeowners in Kauai would like to expand the 72 hour test time. Also ask the governor to consider that labs are closed on the weekends which makes the 72 hour window extremely difficult.
      A easy accessible quick travel test is what is needed!!
      Applaud your possible solutions!

  5. Sheila;

    YAY! Our 48th Anniversary trip was booked for August 8.. I check with CVS (California) they offer currently RESULTS within 2-4 days NOT within 72 hrs. My doctor can prescribe and get my wife and I tested but results in 72 hrs???

    Waiting for some more details. REMAINING SECLUDED and equipped with many masks

    1. If I recall correctly, the lt. gov. has mentioned that they’re trying to get testing sites, like CVS, to agree to turn around results within 72 hours. It is a very tight window and he’s acknowledged that.

      1. Also, wanted to add, that, as you said, we’re going to have to wait for the details. Stay well and hope you have a great anniversary trip!

        1. Per a live chat with the Lt. Gov. today, he said that what he thinks will be part of the plan is that if you arrive without your test results, you’ll first go to your hotel and begin quarantine while you await your results. When your results come in, you’ll take them to a designated office where they’ll remove you from the quarantine list. That’s NOT official, but what they think will be in the plan.

    2. I also live in SO CAL, I called CVS they wont test or even give you an appointment if you have no symptoms, I am having a hard time finding a place to test us with no symptoms and have the results within 72 hours:(

  6. Another point of challenge is the type of testing Hawaii is requiring –
    “PCR” vs “Rapid-Antigen.”
    The PCR must go to the Lab and is what is taking 5-7 Bus Days.
    The “Rapid Antigen” test can return results within 3o minutes.

    Very important, the Governor must allow “Rapid Antigen” testing to be accepted. Angain, otherwise, it is just not feasible.

    1. Just guessing here, as we are not associated with Hawaii government in any way, the choice of test type may have been selected due to accuracy. I encourage you to reach out to the lt. gov. with your concerns.

  7. I may have misunderstood but I thought I understood, in LG Josh Green’s Friday talk, that it is 72 hours prior to arriving. Which would give you 1 more day. I had thought the arrival day would be part of the 72 hours. But still, not sure 3 Full days is enough time. He also said he was good with 5 days out but not sure that will be part of it. Basically a wait and see type thing for some of us. And he also said IF the rapid test became more accurate, which he thought they were getting better, they might accept those but a lot to still work out.

  8. This is just dumb. If you obtain a negative result, hop on a plane you could possibly contract the virus while in the air. Why would anyone sit in a hotel room for a couple of extra days waiting for a result since you cannot possibly get a result in 3 days. The governor has absolutely destroyed the Hawaiian economy.

  9. My husband and I have postponed our Hawaii trip to visit our son four times. Now our flight is scheduled for August 3rd so that we can comply with the new COVID-19 advisory. Our doctors office is working on getting our Covid test done in time to get the results within the 72 hour window. The best we can do is to get the results on Friday before we leave on Monday, which is more than 72 hours. After waiting five months for this trip and trying to comply with the advisory, I pray that we can get to visit our son without being forced to quarantine. Our trip is only ten days.

  10. Are you even talking about Military moves? Has Hawaii worked out anything with the military for folks PCS’ing in? We are supposed to be there 1 Sept, but can’t look at housing either on base or in public. How are we supposed to work this?
    Any help would be appreciated.

    1. The military is being handled separately. Check with a military contact as we do not know their rules.

  11. Still no response.
    Hopefully something soon.
    Not sure they really thought through this aspect of it.

    Gov Ige left the door open to reverse the opening in yesterday’s press conference.

    1. I saw that press conference, too. Though, it did sound as if the plan is to continue with reopening on August 1, unless something major happens.

      Also from the press conference, he said that this pre-testing plan is still “under construction” so it could possibly be a while before we find out the details.

      1. Well, I hope they realize that we’re only three weeks away now from the plan actually having to be in place. I sure hope they don’t drop the ball on the Aug 1st travel date. Otherwise, unless you’re a Doctor, you will not be able to get a test and results back in 72 hours. Especially, if you’re not symptomatic.

      2. I have a First trip planned for December with my kids to Kona. I guess I will be cancelling my trip. I agree with the nurse. Corona has s lost its pandemic credibility and testing is such an overreach. The hospitals are making money from the government for every test they do! They get a reimbursement. Hasn’t any of you asked why they keep this charade on? They want to force a fricken vaccine down your throat! I’m not down for this and suddenly feeling like I’m in the Twilight Zone! I am NOT giving up my freedoms for sake of this farce and refuse to be tested. This is NOT right! I’m not putting myself on file for the feds. No thank you! Guess I will never see Hawaii.

  12. They need to give enough time to get the results BEFORE you fly!! To arrive and have to quarantine until the results arrive is ridiculous!! What about a false positive?? I am traveling Aug 16 so I will get 2 tests so I am guaranteed a negative one!!
    They need to get this worked out NOW!!!!

  13. So we are taking friends with us to celebrate my 60th Birthday in Kauai and this 72hr. Testing will NOT be fiesable for us out of Illinois. CVS takes 3 to 4 days for results baring they are NOT backlogged. How am I going to make my Birthday trip work for All of my guests? Even if we have to quarantine at The Resort til test results come in, we are still.losing money and beautiful time in Kauai. The virus takes 2 to 14 days to appear can’t the Governor realize that a 72 hr. Window JUST WON’T WORK. We all have a lot of money tied up in these travel plans and festivities. Which we will All lose on
    I have been to every island, more than once. Except for Kauai and that’s why I planned my 60th Birthday around that last island that i haven’t seen. Can anyone please HELP !!!!

  14. If we are transferring via HLN to another island, does time of arrival (and end of 72-hour window) apply to landing in HLN or the final destination?

      1. Sound like a lot of us will have aborted vacations because bureaucrats failed to think through the details. Hawaii’s economy will suffer some more.

  15. We have now rescheduled our travel plans three times. We were supposed to be in Hawaii at the end of June (my 60th birthday too), then we changed to mid-August, now to early September. If Sept. doesn’t work out, we will be skipping Hawaii for a long time. Hopefully this will be resolved soon and a workable plan will be developed. My doctor’s office can do the COVID test, but results will not be back for minimally 5-7 business days. As testing increases in our state, it is taking longer and longer to get results back, so no telling how long it will take in September. CVS here won’t even allow you to test unless you have actual symptoms or have come into contact with someone with COVID. The current plan of testing within 72 hours sounds like a nice idea, but is not feasible. I heard the main epidemiologist in Hawaii say they really wanted testing within 48 hours. While I understand the reasons for keeping numbers really low in Hawaii, I don’t want to spend the 1st week of my 2 week vacation quarantined in my hotel room. Sad times.

  16. Here it is July 13th and No True Plan from another State Government ! Just Announce an Idea then make The Public Jump thru Hoops. We have Changed Our Plans three times already and Still Can’t be Welcomed in Hawaii. 72 Hours is not going to be viable and to go without your results is Not Acceptable! Why would anyone want to Waste their Money to sit in a Hotel in Paradise? We are going to Hawaii to enjoy the beauty and the culture. We can’t even truly plan any outings without a deposit ,then Cross Your Fingers. Everyone is losing here and its time to get Back to Life!

  17. Hi Sheila,
    We are scheduled to arrive July 31 and are staying with a on Wheeler air field base with a relative. We could conceivably have a test performed prior to leaving and within the 72 hrs of August 1. I would assume we would have to quarantine for the 31st and have no problems with that, but assuming the negative test would we be released from quarantine? Do you know is there a plan in place for anyone who started quarantine prior to the August 1 start date, but also gets a negative test and thus should be released from quarantine on August 1?
    Assuming we can be removed from quarantine on August 1, are we able to quarantine at our family’s place on Wheeler for July 31? Do you know if the same rules apply to the base as to Oahu in general?
    Thank you for your time and I understand if you don’t have the answers. This assuming the start date isn’t pushed back…..

  18. There is no way to make the 72 hour testing window with results taking at minimum 1 week. Perhaps the Lt. Governor will make some adjustments regarding this tight window if they really want tourists to visit Hawaii. If they don’t care about bringing in visitors, then no adjustments will be made. Does anyone know if the 72 hour window is being looked at by the Lt. Governor?

    1. Some lawmakers have wanted to tighten the window even further to 48 hours. At one point the lt. gov. said he would be comfortable with an even longer window of time, but, just from what we hear/gather, the gov. has been firm on 72 hours.

      We’re not expecting to hear what the exact plan is going to be until August.

  19. I love the testing requirement! I wish my state did that for people entering. We have four people in our party; scheduled to begin Sept 15. If one person fails to get results back in time, will the entire party have to quarantine or just the one person?

  20. Aloha,
    I am a retired Marine and am wondering if a VA (Veterans Administration ) administered
    COVID test is valid or recognized by the state of Hawaii in order to come and check on and work on my home on Big island. Mahalo and stay safe

    1. The details of the plan have still not been released or announced. What they’ve said so far is that a PCR test would be accepted, so I would think as long as the VA does PCR tests, that may very well be sufficient.

  21. Why don’t they just MAKE UP THEIR MINDS???!!!!! The radical governor is probably trying to KILL the economy there!!!! DISGUSTING!!!!! We have had to delay our trip already with plans at the end of Nov…….Have to have a test 72 hrs PRIOR to flying??? what the heck is up with that????? RIDICULOUS!!!! He is holding the islands HOSTAGE!!! and people are losing their livelyhoods , businesses….He and his clan probably want to wait for the economy to tank and they they will buy up as much of the real estate as super low prices……..scumbags!

  22. Apparently getting test results within 72 hours of ARRIVING in Hawai’i is next to impossible.
    Have you any update on what might be a reasonable solution? Almost everyone is saying between 5-7 business days from the test being administered until the results are given.
    Should we bank on arriving in Maui and receiving test results within three days after arriving? Would we then be free to leave our room to enjoy our vacation?

  23. Aloha,
    We are coming to Oahu for work and would love to also visit Kauai and Maui and/or the Big Island. If we test 72 hours before departure for the original leg, would we be able to go the the other islands as well. Looking at being there a maximum of 2 weeks. Thank you!

    1. At the moment, a 14-day quarantine is required when traveling from Oahu to any other island. That is subject to change and officials are potentially thinking of allowing quarantine exemption with additional testing. Check for more information.

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