Coronavirus in Hawaii

Jul 13, 2020 | Hawaii Travel


As of 2023, we are still applying some of the COVID-19 precautions we put in place at the peak of the pandemic.

For an up-to-date situation report, please check the State of Hawaii dashboard.


At the end of the day, March 25, 2022, the Safe Travels Hawai‘i program will conclude. Beginning March 26, 2022, there will be no COVID-related requirements for arriving domestic passengers. Travelers arriving in Hawai‘i directly from international airports must still comply with U.S. federal requirements; consult with your airline.


Big Island Mayor Roth Lifts All County COVID Restrictions
With dropping case numbers and the Omicron surge ending, Mayor Roth announced that all county COVID restrictions are lifted effective immediately. This includes the following:
  • No social distancing requirements
  • No gathering size restrictions for both indoor and outdoor gatherings
  • “Special gatherings” or large events no longer need to apply for exemptions
  • No limits on crowd sizes at County Parks and Recreation facilities
  • Requests for sporting events and practices are no longer required
  • County facilities open to full capacity
Governor Ige: Safe Travels and Vaccine/Testing Requirements to End on March 26th
The Governor announced that when the current emergency order expires on March 25th, the following restrictions will be lifted on March 26th:
  • Pre-travel testing and vaccine requirements for domestic travelers arriving in the State
  • Vaccine/testing requirements for state and county employees
  • Vaccine/testing requirements for visitors to state facilities




January 1, 2021: The pre-travel program is awesome. It started on October 15th and we slowly see more visitors coming back. The State of Hawaii made improvements to the program as they are “learning by doing” and we are profoundly grateful for how our borders have safely opened up again.

  • All travelers must either pre-test or go into 10-day quarantine upon arrival to the state
  • All travelers are required to have their temperature checked and complete a health & travel questionnaire
  • As an alternative to quarantine, a traveler must produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding the last leg of their flight to Hawai‘i
  • FDA-approved NAAT tests, processed by a CLIA-certified laboratory are the only types of coronavirus tests currently approved.
  • Learn more about Pre-Travel Testing Partners:
  • For most up-to-date information, check out:



Each island and county has its own quarantine specifics so we recommend this resource for more info:

…and for clarification: we live in the town of Kailua-Kona in the county of Hawaii on the Island of Hawaii (aka Big Island)  which is in the State of Hawaii!

The State of Hawaii Safe Travel Quick Facts



Another great resource while preparing for your visit, is taking the “Pono Pledge”.

Take a minute and learn more about it:




September 16, 2020: WOOHOO! The pre-travel program will start on October 15th, 2020.

Pre-travel testing enables travelers to avoid a mandatory 14-day quarantine if they are tested no earlier than 72 hours before their flight arrives with an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), performed using a nasal swab, and can show proof of negative test results from a CLIA certified laboratory. Travelers also will have their temperatures checked upon arrival and must fill out a travel and health form. Upon arrival in Hawai‘i, passengers unable to provide proof of an approved negative test will be required to go into quarantine for 14 days or until they can provide proof of negative test results.

Key Components of the Pre-Travel testing program

Hawai‘i’s quarantine will be lifted for those who show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Beginning October 15, the Hawai‘i pre-travel testing program will give travelers the option of possibly avoiding a 14-day-long quarantine upon arrival to the state.

Key components of the pre-travel testing program include:

  • All travelers must either pre-test or go into 14-day quarantine upon arrival to the state
  • All travelers are required to have their temperature checked and complete a health & travel questionnaire
  • As an alternative to quarantine, a traveler must produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test no earlier than 72-hours prior to their flight arrival in Hawai‘i
  • The interisland quarantine for anyone arriving on any island other than O‘ahu continues through Sept. 30, unless terminated or extended by a separate emergency proclamation
  • FDA-approved NAAT tests, processed by a CLIA-certified laboratory are the only types of coronavirus tests currently approved
  • Currently approved trusted testing partners are CVS and Kaiser Permanente
  • FAQ’s to learn more:
State of Hawaii Pre-Travel - Test or Quarantine-Flowchart

State of Hawaii Pre-Travel – Test or Quarantine-Flowchart



July 13, 2020: Last week’s rumors were confirmed today that the strict 14-day quarantine will be extended at least until the end of August. The state will delay reopening of Hawaii’s tourism industry with a traveler pre-testing program, Gov. David Ige has announced.

During a legislative briefing Monday, Ige said he would be extending the 14-day mandatory quarantine for all trans-Pacific travelers through the end of August as the state continues to hammer out the details of how the testing program would work ― and ensure that visitors don’t slip through the cracks. Read more here




GREAT NEWS! Hawaii will slowly open up again to Trans-Pacific visitors!!!

On Wednesday, June 24, 2020, Governor Ige announced all travelers arriving in Hawai‘i from out-of-state will be required to get a valid COVID-19 test prior to their arrival, and to show proof of a negative test result, to avoid the 14-day quarantine. The pre-travel testing program begins Aug. 1.




On Monday, June 10, 2020, Governor Ige extended the 14-day quarantine for trans-pacific travelers arriving in the State of Hawai‘i again until July 31, 2020. Quarantine for travel between the islands will be lifted on June 16, 2020.




On Monday, May 18, 2020, Governor Ige extended the 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in the State of Hawai‘i, as well as for inter-island travelers through June 30.

The governor also extended through June 30 the eviction moratorium that prevents evictions from residential dwellings for failure to pay rent.

In addition, Gov. Ige unveiled the re-opening and recovery plan for the State of Hawai‘i — a strategy that conveys the coordinated, statewide approach to jumpstarting the economy and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

According to the plan – the state will start to gradually re-open medium-risk businesses and operations beginning in June – assuming the state’s COVID-19 activity remains manageable. The re-opening of high-risk businesses and operations will eventually follow, as long as Hawai‘i’s disease activity continues to remain manageable.




On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, Governor Ige gave the first round of businesses the green light to re-open.




On Saturday, April 25, 2020, Governor Ige issued the sixth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation and extended the stay-at-home orders until May 31, 2020.




On Friday, April 17, 2020, Governor Ige issued the Fifth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation which included some additions and clarifications about the social distancing mandates:

  • Everyone must wear masks when in public as detailed in the guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control;
  • All State beaches are closed. Although people will be allowed to walk through beaches to access the water;
  • No more than two (2) people are allowed on State hiking trails unless they are part of the same family or household;
  • No more than two (2) people are allowed on a boat for recreational purposes or gather for fishing on State land unless they are part of the same family or household; and,
  • Mandated limitations for essential business and operations including requirements for room occupancy, sanitizing rules, and signage.




On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Governor Ige issued the Fourth Supplemental Emergency Proclamation including the following:

  • All who travel inter-island will be required to fill out and sign an Interisland Declaration Form. It will include name; residential address; contact telephone number; and destination information. They must also indicate the purpose of their travel.
  • People traveling inter-island to perform essential functions are subject to self-quarantine while traveling, except when performing essential functions. Self-quarantine means travelers must remain in their hotel rooms, order food delivery, and not receive visitors. When they return to their island residence, they are not subject to quarantine, but are required to wear appropriate protective gear – primarily masks – and follow all social distancing requirements.
  • Those traveling for medical or health care are not subject to self-quarantine, as long as they wear appropriate protective gear and follow social distancing requirements.
  • Violations of this order could result in a misdemeanor with fines of up to $5,000 and/or up to one year in prison, or both.




As of Wednesday, March 24, 2020, all counties in the State of Hawaii are under stay-at-home order. Governor Ige announced:

“The threat of COVID-19 is unprecedented and requires aggressive action. I have been in discussions with our county mayors who are developing their own plans to meet the unique needs of their counties. We also agree that a statewide order is necessary for cohesion and consistency.”



Hawai‘i’s remote geographic location has its pros and cons, but in these coming weeks, it might be a lifesaving benefit rather than a disadvantage.

Today I want to share how the Coronavirus in Hawaii is affecting our life on the Big Island after receiving several inquiries from friends and family.

The development about COVID-19 has been on our minds for about 6 weeks due to the geographical nearness to China and South Korea.

Coronavirus in Hawaii – Local Government Response

Since February 4th daily messages are sent by the Civil Defense.

As of Sunday, March 15, 2020, we have no confirmed cases on our island (the Big Island), although 2 new presumptive cases were reported on Kauai yesterday and 2 today (1 on Oahu and 1 on Maui). Wishing the best for those that are now placed in isolation.

Daily Civil Defense Message (March 15, 2020)

The Hawaiian Islands are in the path of potential big storms during hurricane season, so preparing for a 2-week supply is a normal routine and we have done so accordingly.

All container ships are on route from the west coast so we have no uncertainties about food and other supplies. The Big Island also has flourishing agriculture and many farmers’ markets so there is no limitation for fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Department of Health has canceled all large community gatherings like the:

Schools are on spring break starting this week but probably will be extended as things are changing every day.

Coronavirus in Hawaii – Tourism Impact

The cruise ship “Pride of America” with Norwegian Cruise Lines usually docks weekly in Kailua-Kona but they announced suspending their tours for the next 60 days and will reevaluate then. The last time they skipped the port of Kailua-Kona and Hilo was during the Kilauea volcano eruption in 2018.

Over the last three days, we started to get cancellations for the manta ray experience and our Tropical Treasure Hawaii vacation rentals but we still have guests scheduled to come. Over the next week, we expect more cancellation emails because it is of utmost importance that the spread of the virus is slowed down.

It might be tempting to come to Hawaii because of cheap airfares but it’s better to stay away as #FlattenTheCurve of the outbreak is imperative. Everyone needs to do their part to not overwhelm the health care system and I want to encourage everyone to stay informed and to learn why social distancing is significant now.

My former co-worker Jordan Davis is a nurse on the mainland but went through her training on the Big Island. She posted an update as to why we do not want to devastate the local health care system as we only have 6 ICU beds at the Kona hospital, one of just three hospitals on the island. Jordan asks all of us for their “Kuleana” meaning a sense of communal responsibility.

Click to read Jordan’s full post

Coronavirus in Hawaii – How the World Responds

The world is slowing down and many realize how connected we all are.

I want to inspire you to stay calm and hopeful. Follow the directions from the CDC and local authorities, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.

Take a breath, unwind and use the free time to look inward, and most importantly keep believing in the goodwill to all. ~ #WeAreInThisTogether.

Stay Connected to Personal Updates from Hawaii

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If you’re thinking about booking a manta ray activity, don’t miss our guide for swimming with manta rays in Hawaii. It’ll answer all your questions about equipment, prerequisites, safety, sustainability, and much more.

It’s a great FREE resource for anyone who’s getting ready to experience the manta rays firsthand.



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