Are you aching for a change of scenery from your everyday life of quarantine? This pandemic has gone on much longer than any of us could have ever imagined! Although we know that staying home is the safest option, I am here to share some knowledge and advice with you on traveling to Hawaii during COVID.
What do you need to do before traveling to Hawaii?
I recently traveled from Maui to the mainland and back over the holidays. This was an interesting experience and one that was not as simple as I thought it would be. Purchasing a ticket and hoping on a plane is not enough anymore! To travel you will need to fulfill.
First things first, you must register for the Safe Travels program online. This will be your account for anything related to traveling to Hawaii during COVID. Next thing, you must get a test that is Hawaii State Approved from one of the “trusted testing and travel partners”. You must take COVID tests within 72 hours of departure. Something to keep in mind is that Hawaii only accepts the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT).
Once you have received your test results, you must upload the PDF version of it to your Safe Travels account. I highly recommend printing out your results, just in case they ask for it in the arrival line at the airport.
Last but not least, twenty-four hours before your flight, you must take the health questionnaire in your Safe Travels account. Once you complete this, a QR code will be give to you. Save that for your arrival to Hawaii.
What if your results are not ready by the time of your flight? Then, you are required to quarantine until your results are in. However if you do not take a COVID test, you will be mandated to a 10 day quarantine.
Now that your test has been sorted, you can get onto the fun part of traveling and packing your bags for Maui
What is it like in Hawaii right now?
Hawaii is a very dreamy place. Warm, tropical weather year round, crystal clear blue water with turtles and whales swimming, and outdoor activities for everyone! This past year, there was a major decline in tourism due to this pandemic. The beaches have been empty! What an enticing time to take a trip here!
After visiting the mainland and experiencing a true lockdown, I realized how nice we have had it on the island! With most of our daily activities being outdoors, you see people constantly as they are doing the same types of activities.
Restaurants are at 50% capacity, which means you can still go out to eat, just with safety in mind! At Belle Surf Cafe, we have a beautiful and shaded outdoor terrace where you will be able to enjoy your drinks and meals in an open air environment.
Hawaii is much more inviting compared to the rest of the country. We have warm weather during the winter, and we are not on a lockdown.
To keep it this way, we appreciate you staying at a safe distance. Wearing masks, and doing your best to reduce the risk of spreading any germs.
Do locals support the reopening of Hawaii?
Hawaii first “closed down” in April of 2020. As a result, those who still chose to travel here had to do a long 14 day quarantine. To give you an idea…here on Maui, we have one main hospital, with a total of 31 ICU beds. We share our hospital with our neighboring islands of Lanai and Molokai. What does this mean?
Unfortunately, we do not have the type of capacity to handle a massive outbreak. With the reopening of the islands, there are many different views and opinions about accepting tourists here.
We appreciate you coming and supporting our community especially when we need it the most. However, there are a few simple things that you can do to help gain the “respect” of the community when visiting.
- Wearing a mask- this is very important for your safety, and the ones surrounding you.
- Keep at a safe distance. It is much appreciated to distance yourself from others, and keep the groups to a minimum.
- Free Voluntary COVID Test- there is a free COVID test for anyone on the island! There are many events between the testing time and arriving to the island where you could be exposed. Upon your arrival it is recommended to take a COVID test. This will help reduce the spread and keep our islands safe.
In conclusion, traveling to Hawaii during COVID is definitely worth it! Hawaii is filled with life, if we compare to most places in the world right now! The i happy and lucky to live in such a beautiful place, despite such difficult times.
We welcome you with open arms. And we hope that you join us with respect and kindness to keep our community safe. That way we can keep inviting people in!
Mahalo for your kokua.