When will Hawaii allow vaccinated travelers to bypass pre-travel testing and quarantine?


As more and more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, many are wondering when Hawaii will create special provisions for vaccinated travelers to go to Hawaii without pre-testing or 10-day quarantines. That’s a very good question that remains unclear at the moment.

On January 28, Hawaii’s Lt. Gov. Green sent a proposal to Gov. Ige recommending timelines to allow vaccinated travelers to move more freely without pre-travel testing or quarantine. In order to be eligible for relaxed rules, a person must receive the full vaccine dose requirements plus allow at least two weeks prior to traveling.

Lt. Gov. Green’s proposal is a phased approach. The initial phase would create relaxed rules for vaccinated, inter-island travelers. Green suggests the first phase could begin as soon as February 15 to March 1. The second phase, which would relax rules for vaccinated U.S. mainland travelers, could start as early as April 15 to May 1.

We should note that this proposal is predicated on Hawaii vaccinating their most vulnerable populations. For more details on this proposal see this KHON2 segment.

But, before everyone gets excited about this prospect, Gov. Ige indicated he’s not so keen. Ige was asked about his thoughts in a Star-Advertiser live conversation on February 8. Ige is cautious about relaxing any air travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers. He stated, “Until the science (tells) us that those who are vaccinated cannot carry the virus and, I think most important, do not transmit it to other people, I think it would be irresponsible to say that those vaccinated can travel about freely.” How long will it take to have that answer? We’ll have to wait and see.

Post publishing UPDATES

This article was originally published February 9, 2021. As news on this topic will be emerging over time, we will list updates:

  • March 1, 2021 – In an informal, online chat with the Star Advertiser, Lt. Gov. Green said he supports a vaccine passport for travel beginning May 1, 2021. That would allow for those with verified vaccines to be able to travel to the state without COVID-19 testing or quarantine.
  1. He wasn’t really on board with the pre testing travel at first, was he? I’m thinking he wasn’t, so maybe he’ll get on board with it. Which again, as always, I fully understand protecting the people of your State. And it was too late, I had already gotten all excited about it and then the but………. came! lol Thanks for the updates. I’m still hoping that by October, it’ll be passed that we can come with the vaccine.

    1. Yes, I think you’re correct. Lt. Gov. Green was a proponent of the pre-travel testing long before it was eventually approved.

      Sorry about that “but”. 🙂

  2. I am hopeful that by mid July, my wife & I can make to Kauai for our 48th (oops – cancelled Now 49th) Anniversary. Today we get our 1st dose of the vaccine!

    I would expect to get a Covid test prior to travel (within a week or less based on results being available in 3-4 days) and WE ARE USED TO WEARING A MASK! We also respect the local Hawaii/Kauai rules. LET’S HOPE CASES/HOSPITALIZATIONS & DEATHS are DOWN all over the US by then!

    1. Sounds a bit lax. Better plan on test 65 to 72 hours before flight. 3 days is max 72 hours before flight allowed otherwise its 2 weeks quarantine in the allowed room . And get the bar code from state site. New rules in effect late November is if you have not got test results for you both by checkin, you both will be in quarantine (imprisoned) 2 weeks in one expensive room ($300 to $500 nightly). You room you reserved good chance will not meet those rules. So paying for two rooms! Was in my case, fortunately then in early November rules we easier, my test results dragged in that first night in quarantine. Still it cost me extra $1000 adding up expenses.

      The governor just will not make an intelligent decision that Nat test state requires 72 before flight gives less protection to population than those fully vaccinated. Something CDC states that even if exposed, vaccinated do not have to quarantine. Perhaps the governor has a hidden agenda.

  3. Governor dictator is truly in pockets of high priced hotels that quarantine (actually imprison) visitors in a small room at $500+ a night.

    The vaccine gives much higher protection to others than state test taken 65 to 72 hours before! Its real tempting to close all my business activities in Hawaii with state not following Federal procedures!

    State needlessly cost me out of pocket $1000 of contract related quarantine expenses first week November!!!. I followed every rule! This was before do mandated not board without test results rule.

    Due to state screwup on requiring to their mandated contractors test results must be posted within 36hours as advertised, mid November I took test a prudent 48! hours before my flight, yet results not posted till over 60 hours!!!. I was severely penalized and humiliated for STATE SCREWUP and treated more like a abused POW!! Never in my 65 years anywhere in world been treated so bad!!!!!! Yes Hawaii treated me sub par 3rd world places my work took me!!

    Now I have business again that must occur late March. March 2 I will take 2nd Covid 19 vaccine dose.

    The vaccine gives much higher protection to others than state test taken 65 to 72 hours before! Its real tempting to close all my business activities in Hawaii with state not following Federal procedures!

    I highly recommend all to boycott Hawaii till state comes in line with CDC procedures!!!

    A big Hawaiian hello to not so bright governor – US Navy Pueblo Hawaiian hello that is!

  4. Had to cancel our 2 week Thanksgiving holiday on Kauai last year. Have reservations for October and December this year. Have already had 1st vaccine and hope that by our planned trips all restrictions for vaccinated folks will be dropped. Have been coming to Kauai for many years – twice a year – and love and respect the island and its people and so looking forward to returning later this year.

  5. Hawaii is truly one of the world’s most beautiful places, but with the official and unofficial hostility to tourists visiting from out of state coupled with nonsensical rules applying even to fully vaccinated people, I’m not sure I will ever be returning to Hawaii. Maybe after all the restrictions are lifted, I will again bring my family to Hawaii. However, it seems likely the restrictions will remain in place for years and by the time they are finally lifted it will be hard to find a hotel because they have all closed permanently due to a lack of business.

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