Editor’s note: This article was updated on Feb. 26 with current COVID-19 protocols.
Keeping up with the ever-changing entry requirements for Hawaii hasn’t been easy during the pandemic, but the loosening of statewide travel restrictions is welcome news for tourists, including those heading to the island of Maui.
All travelers to Hawaii still need to register for the state’s Safe Travels program. Although a mask mandate for the state remains in place, Maui County recently eased all other COVID-19-related protocols.
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What you need to know about traveling to Hawaii right now
Hawaii’s Safe Travels program currently treats both domestic travelers from another state and international travelers entering Hawaii the same by requiring they upload proof of vaccination or results of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the final leg of their flight to Hawaii.
“For travelers arriving from the U.S. and its Territories, the state of Hawai‘i will only accept Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from trusted testing and travel partners including tests or vaccinations verified through the state’s Digital Health Pass Partners – Azova, Clear and CommonPass,” per the state’s COVID-19 portal. “The vaccination record document must be uploaded to Safe Travels and printed out prior to departure, and the traveler must have a hard copy in hand when arriving in Hawaiʻi.”
Currently accepted vaccines include those approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization, a list of which is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.
If you do not possess either a vaccine certificate or a negative test, you must submit to a mandatory five-day quarantine.
Related: Proof of vaccination or recent test no longer required to access indoor spaces in Maui
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What you need to know about traveling to Maui right now
“With the rapid decline of new COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations, we can safely eliminate the proof-of-vaccination requirement for bars, restaurants and gyms,” Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said in a statement on Feb. 18. “We successfully avoided overloading our health-care capacity, so many thanks to the community and especially the business operators who have struggled through this entire pandemic.”
Currently, an indoor mask mandate remains in place across the state, though Hawaii Gov. David Ige may lift it due to external pressure as Hawaii is the only U.S. state still broadly requiring face masks indoors.
Related: A last resort: Reviewing Maui’s brand-new AC Hotel by Marriott Wailea
There’s perhaps no better time to travel to Hawaii, or more specifically, Maui, than right now when you can escape the gloom and doom of a Northeast or Midwest winter. Remember, uploaded proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is required to enter.
Once you’re there, expect to wear masks and enjoy a taste of the pre-2020 days of Maui.
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Hana-Maui Resort.
Additional reporting by Jane Frye.