Hawaii will continue to remain off limits for most visitors through at least the end of July, per an extension of an existing policy.
Hawaii extends 14-day self quarantine through July 31, 2020
In late March Hawaii introduced a required 14-day self quarantine for people arriving from out-of-state. This included both visitors and residents, and for a vast majority of people meant Hawaii wasn’t a viable option for a vacation.
Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day self quarantine for arrivals was supposed to expire on June 30, 2020, but has now been extended through July 31, 2020. If Hawaii was in your travel plans for travel next month, it’s probably not anymore.
This mandate applies to private and commercial aircraft arriving from out-of-state. Arriving passengers are required to initial and sign an order acknowledging that violating the order is a criminal offense, and subject to up to a $5,000 fine and/or a year of imprisonment.
While any American can travel to Hawaii, the reality is that you’ll need to stay somewhere for two weeks before you can start your vacation, and that’s a deal-breaker for a vast majority of people.
Hawaii remains off limits to most visitors
Hawaii may require testing in the future
At this point Hawaii is the state with the most stringent self quarantine regulations for out-of-state-visitors. Until recently Alaska also required a 14-day self quarantine, but as of last week Alaska started allowing people to skip this if they would take a COVID-19 test, either before departure or after arrival.
Hawaii has had COVID-19 pretty well under control, and has seen an average of just a couple of new cases per day in recent weeks.
While Hawaii will maintain the current policy through July 31, the state is looking into the possibility of offering testing before travel in the future, though no concrete plans have been announced.
Hawaii faces the challenge that so many other destinations face:
- Tourism makes up over 20% of Hawaii’s economy, so presumably Hawaii really would love to open up to tourists again
- Hawaii faces a lot of challenges compared to the mainland in terms of resources, and a spike in cases could prove more problematic there than elsewhere
As we see more tourist destinations welcome people who have taken a COVID-19 test, we’ll have more data points as to just how effective that is. Is requiring a test before departure, or offering one upon arrival, enough? Only time will tell.
Hawaii could welcome visitors who were tested in the future
Hawaii will continue to require a 14-day self quarantine upon arrival for anyone arriving from out-of-state through at least July 31, 2020. This represents a one month extension over the previous policy. Presumably this has the potential to be extended once again.
While this isn’t an actual tourist ban, a 14-day self quarantine will mean that a vast majority of people won’t be vacationing in Hawaii.
Hawaii is facing the same challenge as so many destinations that rely on tourism — if case numbers are low (as they are in Hawaii), is it better to reopen to get tourists dollars, or stay closed until things improve globally?