Thanks to decreasing Covid numbers, Hawaii will be relaxing travel restrictions for domestic travelers to the islands. Here are the latest details on the changes that are happening soon.
Hawaii Governor David Ige announced on March 1, 2022 that the state’s travel quarantine and Safe Travels Hawaii program will end on March 25, 2022. This means that visitors departing from domestic cities to Hawaii will no longer have to show proof of vaccination or have a pre-travel negative test result. Since you will not have to show test results, the quarantine requirement will also end. Previously, Hawaii ended restrictions for domestic arrivals that required pre-travel testing and quarantine requirements if they could prove full vaccination status.
For those visitors coming from international departures, there will still be restrictions which will be covered below.
What has not changed is the requirements for the wearing of masks. This mandate will remain in place for now.
The CDC charts show that Covid is on the decline. Here is the latest CDC infection chart showing a downward trend.
Gov. David Ige recently announced that booster shots won’t be required to be considered “fully vaccinated,” although they are still strongly encouraged.
Those arriving in Hawaii prior to March 25, 2022 will still need to participate in the Hawaii Safe Travels program or they must quarantine for five days or the length of stay, whichever is shorter. Again, if you are arriving on or after March 25, 2022, Aloha.
State restrictions on social gatherings, restaurants, bars, gyms and other public establishments expired in December. Some local restrictions did remain so here is where they stand:
- Maui County (Island of Maui) lifted vaccination or testing requirements for indoor public places on February 21, 2022.
- The island of Oahu which requires proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to enter restaurants, bars and gyms will expire on March 5, 2022.
Again, the statewide indoor mask mandate will remain in effect. Here is what Governor Ige said about the mask mandate:
“Hawaii will keep the indoor mask mandate for now. We are watching disease activity across the state and globally, especially as other changes are made to current programs across the U.S. and at the county level. We will adjust accordingly.
The CDC eliminated its mask recommendation once before but was forced to reinstate the indoor mask requirement when the Delta variant caused a spike in cases. Hawaii kept its indoor mask requirement in place during that time, protecting residents and preventing the rapid spread of the virus, resulting in the second-lowest COVID fatality rate in the country.”
Airline Mask Mandate
Even though the CDC has relaxed indoor mask requirements, The Transportation Security Administration mask mandate remains in effect through March 18, 2022. As of the date of this post, there has been no word from the TSA on whether the mask mandate will be extended beyond March 18. Although the airlines have not taken a stance on a mandate extension, the Association of Flight Attendants – CWA wants to see the mandate extended. Here is what the union said:
“The conditions in aviation are the same,” the union said in a statement. “Our youngest passengers do not yet have access to the vaccine. The airplane is a unique, but controlled environment for everyone’s safety. The layered approach to safety and security includes masks. Aviation is a worldwide network that harmonizes safety procedures around the world. It’s also critical that we maintain passenger confidence in the safety of air travel.”
Visitors from other countries still must meet the CDC guidelines for travel to the United States that have been in effect since November 8, 2021. These requirements include:
- those age 18 and up must be fully vaccinated and have a negative Covid-19 test result and
- those age 2 and older are required to test within on day of departure to the United States regardless of vaccinations status.
I am headed to Hawaii next month and I find this excellent news. The rate of Covid infections has dramatically slowed at least for now. Plan your trip to the islands, have fun and pack your face mask along with your sunscreen and sanitizer. Remember that sunscreen that exceeds 3.4 ounces should be packed in your checked bag while a single bottle of sanitizer up to 12 ounces may be in your carry-on bag. Here is a link to the TSA security screening page.