Traveling to Hawaii During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Big Island Guide Travel Guide

Please Postpone your trip to Hawaii until after the Covid-19 Quarantine Ends

(Article Updated May 15, 2020)

As a well loved international travel destination, Hawaii is known for the incredible Aloha Spirit we extend to visitors from around the globe. No trip to Hawaii would be complete without the tropical sights, beautiful beaches, restaurants, and most of all, without the friendly people here to welcome you. Unfortunately, due to current quarantine measures that are needed to help protect the health and safety of our community, travelers to Hawaii are not easily able to experience all the wonder of a Hawaii vacation at this time. Due to these limitations, and for the safety of everyone, we humbly request that you postpone your trip to Hawaii until after the 14 Day Quarantine Order is lifted or a testing option is made available.

Hawaii Government Mandates for Covid-19

Governor David Ige has updated the state of Hawaii quarantine to a Safer at Home Order and decided to keep the Mandatory 14 Day Quarantine through May 31 (and now likely until the end of June). All persons traveling to Hawaii (visitors, returning residents and inter-island travelers) must self-quarantine for 14 days following arrival. We have been told that these mandates will likely remain in place through June 30th with a staged reopening of businesses based on risk level. So far, low risk businesses and most retail has been allowed to reopen.

• For the most up-to-date information from Governor Ige – Click Here
• For information about the 14 day quarantine – Click Here
• For information specific to Hawaii County (the Big Island) – Click Here

14 Day Quarantine Information

The quarantine means that visitors must remain in their rooms for most or all of their vacation, therefore travelers are strongly urged to postpone any trips to Hawaii. The quarantine orders are strict and are being enforced by local law enforcement. For those flying to Hawaii, what does the 14-day self quarantine mean?

• You must provide your lodging and contact info to the authorities
• You must proceed directly from the airport to your lodgings with no stops along the way
• You must stay inside your lodging/hotel room for the entire 14 days
• You are not allowed to use shared facilities such as pools, spas, gyms, restaurants, or bars
• You must get someone to deliver food and necessities to your door or order room service or delivery
• You can not go outside or to public places such as grocery stores, shopping centers, or local attractions
• You can not have visitors inside your lodging
• You can only leave your lodging for emergency reasons or to receive medical care
• You will be monitored to check on your health and your location regularly
• Violating the rules can land you in jail, get you expelled from the state, or get you a $5,000 fine

Hawaii Covid-19 Infection Situation

The good news is that Hawaii’s infection rate is among the lowest in the country and we have flattened the curve with our adherance to the state’s distancing and quarantine measures. As of May 15, 2020, the State of Hawaii had 637 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths and the Island of Hawaii had 75 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 (all recovered – so no active cases) and no deaths.

What’s Open In Hawaii During Covid-19 Restriction

Essential businesses and organizations are allowed to operate, these include:

Healthcare services. Stores that sell groceries and medicine. Food, beverage, and agriculture. Educational institutions. Charitable and Social Service Organizations. Media. Gas stations and transportation businesses. Financial institutions. Hardware and supply stores. Critical trades. Mail and shipping services. Laundry services. Restaurants for consumption off-premises. Businesses selling or manufacturing supplies to work from home or for essential businesses. Home based care and services. Residential facilities and shelters. Professional services. Child care services for essential workers. Manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products. Critical labor union functions. Hotels and motels. Funeral services. Government functions.

What’s Closed In Hawaii During Covid-19 Restriction

Hawaii has a state-wide Safer at Home Order in place that is slowly allowing non-essential businesses to reopen based on their assigned risk levels and a heightened level of precautions being put in place, everything else remains closed until they are phased in. Currently, certain low risk and one on one services have been allowed to resume such as golf courses, automated car washes, auto sales, and some real estate activities. Retail has now been added to the list of businesses that can reopen.

Accommodations

Most Accommodations are closed. Hotels and Motels are allowed to operate but, due to current travel restrictions, most have chosen to remain closed. If you need further details, please contact the specific property directly. The following hotels on the Big Island are open in a limited capacity during the quarantine period; Sheraton Kona, Fairmont Orchid (was open in April, but will close for May), Grand Naniloa, Hilo Hawaiian, and the Manago Hotel. The few lodgings that are open are primarily accommodating essential workers and airline crews, so if you must come to Hawaii and need a place to stay, call them to see if they can accommodate you. If you are traveling to the state or between islands, you will need to complete a 14 day quarantine and hotels are being asked to monitor visitors for quarantine violations. Short-term vacation rentals that provide guest accommodations for less than 30 days (other than hotels and motels) are considered non-essential and are not supposed to be operating at this time.

Restaurants and Bars

Bars, clubs and restaurants are closed. Restaurants that remain open are offering take-out and/or delivery only. There are plans to begin reopening restaurants around June 5th according to state officials.

Attractions and Activities

Many visitor attractions, activities, parks and beaches are closed or have limited use. On March 20, the Department of Land and Natural Resources announced that all Hawaii state parks were to be closed, in addition to commercial ocean and trail tours and any commercial operation in state ocean waters. Since then, some beaches and state parks have reopened for exercise and walking but not for gatherings or sitting and relaxing. Hawaii Federal Parks are closed. All large gatherings and major events have been canceled or rescheduled for later in the year (see the list below).

Activities such as exercise, dog walking, and solo water activities like surfing, paddle boarding and swimming are allowed as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.

Island of Hawaii Events

• Kona Brewers Festival – Canceled – Rescheduled for March 13, 2021
• Big Island Chocolate Festival – Postponed until August 14-15, 2020
• Ironman 70.3 – Postponed until Aug 15, 2020
• Kuauli Pacific & Asia Cultural Festival – Postponed until Sept 11-13, 2020
• Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon – Canceled – Rescheduled for March 28, 2021
• Merrie Monarch Festival – Canceled – Rescheduled for 2021

• Ironman World Championship – Postponed until Feb 6, 2021

We hope that advancements in testing, treatments and vaccines will soon make it safe for everyone to travel again. The government of Hawaii is working on testing procedures that will hopefully allow for travel with fewer restrictions in the near future. We will update this article when new information becomes available.

~ A Hui Hou

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