It seems as though every day new or updated guidance is released describing when and where masks are required, what you can do if you’re fully vaccinated, and whether or not it’s safe to get on a plane again. The biggest update came a few days ago when the CDC released new recommendations that fully vaccinated folks do not need to wear masks in both indoor and outdoor settings. This news is a massive shift after the past 14 months of quarantining, social-distancing, and buying a plethora of colorful masks to wear. It is a very welcome change that has us excited for the future and when we can all get back OUT there. One destination at the top of our list is the beautiful island state of Hawaii.
Hawaii has done an incredible job allowing travel to continue into the state and fortunately for us we were able to take a short trip to Oahu after being vaccinated a month prior. Through our trip we learned quite a bit about COVID-19 safety and other procedures that exist to ensure you are being responsible while also keeping those around you safe i.e., testing prior to travel, what to expect during the flight, and safe accommodations.
The state is continuing to mandate a negative test result prior to departing for the islands as a way for incoming visitors to avoid the 10-day mandatory quarantine. The test must be completed at a Hawaii-approved testing facility which can be located via the Trusted Testing and Travel Partners page. It is important to note that test results, depending on the location, can take up to 36 hours to be delivered, so plan accordingly. Once you receive your negative result you can upload documentation to the State of Hawaii Safe Travels website. After the results are verified, you will receive a QR code that you will use throughout your trip. Lastly, within 24 hours of your trip you will need to fill out a health screening on the State of Hawaii Safe Travels website detailing your current exposure and symptoms (if any).
After testing for COVID-19, we received our negative test results two days before we were set to depart for Honolulu. We saved a copy of our results, uploaded them to the State of Hawaii Safe Travels website, and within a few minutes the results were verified. The day before we left, we filled out the health questionnaire and received our QR code to use throughout the trip. After we checked our luggage at the Long Beach Airport (LGB), we approached our Southwest Airlines gate and noticed a check-in table that was marked specifically for Hawaii travelers who had a QR code. Once our codes were scanned, we received a wristband that informed the flight crew and local Hawaiian airport attendants that we successfully completed all the steps and could be let into Hawaii without having to complete the 10-day quarantine. Overall, the process was seamless. We felt safe knowing we were taking all the necessary precautions to not only protect ourselves but all the locals of Oahu so that we could responsibly enjoy the beauty the island has to offer.
We created a video highlighting our experience with COVID restrictions in Hawaii. Please note that at the time you read this or watch the below video, restrictions may have changed, and it is important to do your own research to understand the regulations set forth by the State of Hawaii.