CDC, State Department warn against travel to Japan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the State Department issued warnings against traveling to Japan, due to an increase in coronavirus cases.

The CDC’s warning read: “Travelers should avoid all travel to Japan. Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan.”

The State Department’s statement was: “Do not travel to Japan due to COVID-19.”

While the warnings do directly affect travel to Hawaii from Japan, it is unclear how this will impact tourism to the islands and which restrictions, if any, might follow. Visit the state’s COVID-19 website for the latest information.

UPDATE MAY 24, 2021:

Hawaii still testing incoming travelers

Hawaii is the only state still requiring tests for travelers who have been fully vaccinated.

If you’re planning a trip to the islands, you must still register with the state’s Safe Travels program and receive a negative COVID-19 test result before arriving.

Additional details on testing requirements are below and at the state of Hawaii’s COVID-19 website.

UPDATE APRIL 22, 2021:

Interisland vaccine passport program begins May 11

Hawaii Governor David Ige announced a vaccine exemption plan that will take effect May 11, 2021, for those traveling from one island to another.

For those arriving from the mainland, the restrictions already in place — which are detailed below — remain in effect.

The so-called vaccine passport will loosen travel restrictions for those traveling among islands who have completed an approved vaccine plus a subsequent 14-day waiting period. Beginning May 7, 2021, interisland travelers who qualify for the program will be able to enter their vaccine information on for travel on or after May 11, 2021.

>> See the state of Hawaii’s official COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date information.

UPDATE APRIL 14, 2021:

Vaccine passport being discussed for interisland travel

Hawaii Lt. Governor Josh Green told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii that a “vaccine passport” is being discussed for interisland travel.

The state is targeting May 1, 2021, for rolling out a Safe Travels Card, which would initially loosen restrictions on interisland travel for those who can produce accepted documentation showing they have received a COVID-19 vaccination. The plan is still being discussed and no details have been finalized.

“If we do meet our internal deadlines, we’re hopeful by May 1 that we’ll be able to do it for intercounty/interisland travel,” Green said.

UPDATE APRIL 12, 2021:

Rapid COVID-19 test required for Maui Travelers

Travelers arriving on Maui will need to take a rapid COVID-19 test in new rules approved by the state last week.

The on-arrival test is in addition to previous rules that were in place for bypassing Hawaii’s 10-day quarantine.

>> Read more about Maui’s travel requirements here.


Oahu relaxing coronavirus restrictions

Oahu is relaxing its coronavirus-related rules and restrictions after recent statistics have shown a decrease in the rate of coronavirus cases and positive test results.

Travel-related requirements remain as detailed below.

>> Read more about the island’s move to Tier 3 here.


Fill out Safe Travels form ahead of departure for Hawaii

If you’re traveling to Hawaii, you’re required to fill out the state’s online Safe Travels form. Create an account at and enter your information, including your COVID-19 test result, ahead of your flight to help expedite the process.

The state of Hawaii’s official website has more details on the Safe Travels program here; be sure to check for the latest updates and information well ahead of your departure date, and if you’re traveling to Maui, see the details below on the Aloha Safe Alert app that is required to bypass quarantine.


Download app to bypass quarantine on Maui

If you’re heading to Maui, you’ll need to download the Aloha Safe Alert app to your phone in order to bypass the mandatory 10-day quarantine.

That’s in addition to previous measures required to bypass quarantine, namely producing a negative COVID-19 test result from an approved testing partner within 72 hours of arrival on the island.

More details on the other requirements are below. See the state of Hawaii’s official COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date information.


Kauai rejoins Hawaii’s pre-testing program

Kauai has rejoined Hawaii’s pre-testing program after having opted out for more than a month.

Kauai’s opt-out required all incoming passengers to abide by a 10-day quarantine, regardless of whether they had a negative pre-arrival COVID-19 test result.

Now, Kauai is allowing inter-island travelers who have tested negative for COVID-19 to bypass the 10-day quarantine, provided they have:

1. Been in the state of Hawaii for more than three days before arriving on Kauai
2. Have received a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of departing for Kauai

Alternatively, if you’re traveling to Kauai without spending three days on another island first, you will have the option to quarantine for three days on Kauai at an Enhanced Movement Quarantine (EMQ) “resort bubble” property and then take a post-travel test 72 hours after the arrival.

“Travelers who participate in this program will be able to enjoy resort amenities and visit the pool for the first three days of their vacations until they are eligible to take their post-travel test,” Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said in a press release. “Once the post-travel test shows they are COVID-free, they can enjoy all that Kauai has to offer.”

For the latest information, visit:

  • The state of Hawaii’s official COVID-19 website
  • The County of Kauai’s official COVID-19 page


Hawaii is officially reopening.

The state’s pre-arrivals testing program begins on Thursday, October 15, 2020, meaning that, for the first time in months, incoming travelers have the option to bypass a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival to the islands.

Under Governor David Ige’s plan, any inbound traveler who can produce confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test from one of Hawaii’s approved testing partners can bypass the 14-day self-quarantine. The negative result must be administered within 72 hours of the final leg of departure.

Planning to head to the islands? Make sure you register on the state’s Safe Travels website beforehand. All incoming travelers are required to create a profile and fill out an online health questionnaire on the site.

Ige confirmed on Tuesday that all islands will participate in the pre-arrival testing program for trans-Pacific travelers, with voluntary post-arrival tests being implemented on Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island. Travelers going from Honolulu to Maui or Kauai will also be able to get a pre-travel test within 72 hours of departure and avoid quarantine.

Ige also said the state is “exploring a pre-travel testing relationship with Japan,” and that he hopes to announce more details soon.

Reopening to tourism is a tall order for the islands, with the mandatory two-week quarantine having been in effect since late March and the pre-arrivals testing program having been pushed back several times.

The program was first announced in June and originally planned to begin on August 1. It was then pushed back, first to September 1, then to October 1, and finally to October 15.

If you’re heading to the islands any time soon, consult the resources below for the latest information, to ensure you’re compliant with pre-arrival testing procedures. Failure to meet the requirements will result in a mandatory 14-day quarantine, with stiff penalties still in place.

  • State of Hawaii’s Safe Travels Website
  • Hawaii State Department of Health COVID-19 Website
  • State of Hawaii Department of Transportation
  • State of Hawaii Official Website
  • State of Hawaii Self-Quarantine Instructions