The long-awaited reopening of Hawaii tourism come October 15th with pre-travel testing has been a huge hurdle to this point. Now, assuming all the precautions are safe, opening restaurants, hotels, tours and attractions are going to be the next hurdle. Some are already open with restrictions while others will be opening in the weeks to come.
The reasons for a delayed opening are many, such as:
- local rules prohibiting or restricting reopening
- the time it takes to rehire and retrain employees with new COVID-19 restrictions
- waiting for enough visitors to make reopening viable for business
- navigating through and implementing the ongoing COVID-19 restriction changes
General Overview of COVID-19 Restrictions in Hawaii
What’s allowed to be open is regulated by island. Check the island county pages for their specific restrictions:
- Kauai County
- City and County of Honolulu (Oahu)
- Maui County (including Lanai and Molokai)
- County of Hawaii (Big Island)
Regulations that appear to be consistent throughout Hawaii are mask wearing, social distancing, reduced restaurant capacity and no buffets. Attractions are mostly allowed to open with reduced capacity. Any attraction with an indoor area is limited in capacity if open at all.
At the moment, Oahu has the strictest regulations with their tier system. They are currently in “Tier 1.” Some of the limitations at Tier 1 that impact visitors most are:
- restaurants open for no more than 50% capacity
- restaurant tables limited to no more than five per party
- parks, beaches, trails limited to groups of no more than five persons
- zoos, aquariums, museums, botanical gardens limited to groups of no more than five persons and 50% capacity for indoor areas
- no helicopter tours
- boating tours limited to 25% capacity
- for a full list of allowances, see this link to Tier 1.
Sample of the most visited attractions in the Hawaiian Islands
We thought we’d take a look into some of the most popular attractions across Hawaii to see what is and isn’t open. Here’s what we found:
Oahu – USS Arizona Memorial and museum in Pearl Harbor is open, however the theater is closed.
Oahu – Kualoa Ranch is open with restrictions.
Oahu – Polynesian Cultural Center doesn’t have an exact reopening date yet.
Oahu – Hanauma Bay is closed without a reopening date.
Oahu – Diamond Head State Monument is closed.
Maui – Haleakala National Park is open with limitations. The summit is open daily, but the coastal, Kipahulu section has reduced days and hours.
Maui – Iao Valley State Monument is closed.
Kauai – Waimea Canyon State Park is open.
Kauai – Wailua Falls State Park is open.
Hawaii (Big) Island – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is open with some limitations.
Hawaii (Big) Island – Pu’uhonua o Honaunau (Place of Refuge) National Historical Park is open on limited days.
Hawaii (Big) Island – Akaka Falls State Park opened October 4th.
For other attractions, check directly with that attraction for their opening hours and/or limitations due to COVID-19.
Hawaii Hotel Openings
We’ve taken a sampling of each island’s largest hotels to see when they’re opening. Here’s what we found:
Oahu – Hilton Hawaiian Village – appears to be accepting reservations starting December 15, though their website says they’re open as of October 1st, but we couldn’t find available reservations until December 15.
Oahu – Disney Aulani – opening November 1st
Maui – Grand Wailea – accepting reservations starting November 15.
Lanai – Four Seasons Resort Lanai – accepting reservations starting October 15th.
Kauai – Grand Hyatt Kauai – accepting reservations starting November 1st.
Hawaii (Big) Island – Hilton Waikoloa Village – appears to be accepting reservations starting November 13th.
Please note that all of the information published on this page on October 12, 2020 was accurate at the time of publishing. All openings are subject to change.