Maui COVID-19 travel restrictions: What you need to know about requirements to visit this Hawaiian island
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Editor’s note: This article has been updated with the latest information.
Keeping up with the ever-changing entry requirements for Hawaii hasn’t been easy during the pandemic. But that hasn’t deterred throngs of tourists from forging ahead with travel plans, especially to the island of Maui.
Travelers to Hawaii already need to register for the state’s Safe Travels program and have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter without facing a mandatory 10-day self-quarantine. (Note: Beginning May 11, Hawaii will allow intercounty travelers vaccinated in Hawaii to skip quarantine and testing requirements.)
But as of May 4, Maui has added a second test requirement for all arrivals — unless you’ve been fully vaccinated and can show proof of vaccination.
According to Maui county’s website, fully vaccinated means: “receiving both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, plus completing 14 days after your final dose.” Proof of vaccination means “presenting your original CDC vaccination card or certificate of vaccination downloaded from the CDC’s Vaccination Administration Management System (VAMS).”
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What you need to know if you’re traveling to Maui
In addition to following Hawaii’s strict entry test requirements (more on that below), completing the Safe Travels online application, and downloading the AlohaSafe Alert app, Maui is now requiring a second COVID-19 test upon arrival. Fully vaccinated travelers who can show proof of vaccination are exempt from this second test.
Travelers will not have to pay out-of-pocket costs for the additional COVID-19 testing. Children under the age of 5 who are traveling with a parent or guardian who has tested negative for COVID-19 are exempt from quarantine and post-arrival testing.
Maui Now reports that the second test is “designed to determine if visitors and returning residents are contributing to an uptick in cases,” per Mayor Victorino.
In addition to the processes outlined above, masks are required throughout Maui, with exceptions including when outdoors and physical distancing of six (6) feet from other individuals (who are not members of the same household/living unit/residence) can be maintained. Occupancy is limited to 50 percent of a facility’s maximum occupant load, and bars and restaurants have an 11 pm curfew.
What you need to know about traveling to Hawaii right now
As of October 2020, Hawaii’s Safe Travels program allows travelers to avoid a 10-day quarantine by uploaded an approved COVID-19 negative test result by a Trusted Testing and Travel Partner taken no more than 72 hours before taking off on your flight to Hawaii prior to departure. The test must be an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), performed using a nasal swab, with results from a CLIA-certified laboratory. Violators face a $5,000 fine, jail time of up to one year, or both.
(Note: Hawaii will allow intercounty travelers vaccinated in Hawaii to skip quarantine and testing requirements as of May 11. Under this new guideline, people fully vaccinated in Hawaii can skip testing and quarantine, starting on the 15th day after the completion of their vaccination, by following the required Safe Travels protocols.)
Hawaiian lawmakers are discussing a bill that would standardize testing requirements across all islands.
In addition to Hawaii’s strict testing policy, all travelers must register with the state’s Safe Travels program. Everyone is required to wear a mask when inside businesses and requested to wear a mask at all times in public spaces such as sidewalks, museums, attractions, parks and even the beach when physical distancing isn’t possible.
As with Maui, many islands have additional entry requirements or requirements that have recently changed, so be sure to check before booking. As of April 5, Kauai has rejoined the Safe Travels program. The county of Kauai’s website states that “Visitors and residents traveling to Kauai are subject to a 10-day quarantine unless granted an exemption through the State of Hawaii Safe Travels program with an approved negative pre-travel test, or by participating in the Kauai Resort Bubble program.” Read more about the program here.
Traveling to Maui right now is possible if you’re willing to jump through a few hoops. That said, for many Americans, it remains the best vacation option while awaiting more international destinations to open their borders. Be sure to do your research ahead of time and know what is required for entry.
And, check out these related guides:
- 26 Maui hotels you can book with points
- The best ways to get to Hawaii using points and miles
- How to get to Hawaii: Fly nonstop from 27 mainland U.S. cities
- 9 Things to Do in Maui That Aren’t the Road to Hana
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Hana-Maui Resort
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