After the government of Hawaii enacted a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival for passengers arriving from the rest of the U.S., and even on inter-island travel, flights to the the state basically ceased. This has had a massive impact on a state that is very tourism-dependent. Travel to the islands was almost nonexistent, and Hawaii made it clear that their COVID-19 quarantine must be taken seriously.
But things are changing.
Hawaii to Open to COVID-Negative Passengers August 1
On August 1 the Hawaiian Islands will reopen to visitors. You’ll just need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours old. This is what will allow you to avoid the mandatory quarantine and hit the beach.
You will not be able to get a test at the airport, however. You’ll need to be tested within 72 hours of your scheduled arrival time back at home. This *does* make travel planning a bit nerve-wracking, as you could book flights three weeks out and then contract the virus before departure. But it’s a necessary step to managing coronavirus transmission.
I would hope that anyone who tests COVID-19 positive would avoid traveling entirely, so no one would need to quarantine any longer? But you never know. Some have still insisted on flying. The last category is flying *without* being tested, in which case you’ll need to still quarantine for 14 days.
Hawaiian Airlines will be making a massive comeback due to this change. At least…this is what they are anticipating. The airline plans to fly 252 weekly flights between the islands and the mainland, and intra-island flights will see an increase as well. Currently, flights have only been for critical travel and cargo.
Hawaii has done a good job restricting travel during this time and has experienced a low number of COVID-19 cases. However, their economy has taken quite a hit, and many restaurants may never reopen. It’s easier to restrict travel when you’re made up of islands.
Travel to Hawaii will undoubtedly result in increasing COVID-19 infections. I don’t doubt this. But the state cannot stay closed to tourists forever without facing another painful reality. The decision to allow travel back to Hawaii with proof of a negative COVID-19 test is a good one, in my opinion.