Hot sun, gentle ocean breezes, warm saltwater brimming with sea life. Visiting Hawaii right now sounds like a dream…but then again, there’s still a worldwide pandemic happening.
As the pandemic winds down in the U.S. and travel begins to open up in some areas of the world, tourism is picking up and more people are taking all that money they saved and packing up to see the world…well, at least the safer parts. Hawaii is being inundated with tourists, which is great but can be confusing when you’re not sure what the current Hawaii travel restrictions are.
The only predictable thing right now is that things are unpredictable and changing constantly. Our goal at Old Lahaina Luau is to provide some calm in the storm of information by keeping you up to date with travel information, Maui COVID restrictions, and fun, safe ways to have a smooth vacation in Maui, even with the Hawaii travel restrictions 2021 brings.
Hawaii Travel Restrictions 2021 Update: A Few Highlights
(as of July 8, 2021)
There are currently three ways to get into Hawaii:
- VACCINATED = NO PRE-TEST
As of July 8th, 2021 U.S. mainland travelers who are fully vaccinated can bypass quarantine (as long as there have been 15 or more days since the final dose). You will need to upload a photo and have proof of vaccination on hand while traveling.
- NOT VACCINATED? TAKE A PRE-TEST
Skip quarantine by taking a pre-travel test (paid for by you) and a rapid post-arrival test (paid for by Maui County). The test must be from one of our state-approved providers and taken within 72 hours or less before your final flight to Hawaii. For those visiting Maui from the U.S. mainland or abroad, test results must be uploaded before flight departure.
- OPT TO QUARANTINE
If you are not vaccinated and choose not to take a COVID-19 test before departure, you can complete a mandatory 10-day self-quarantine and shelter-in-place until it’s complete. You’ll need to check in on your smartphone or computer each day.
So, in a nutshell, the latest Hawaii travel restrictions update announced that as of July 8th, 2021, fully vaccinated visitors from the U.S. (ages 12 and up) no longer need to have a negative COVID test to get into Maui. Also, as of June 15, 2021, inter-island restrictions have ended between all islands, meaning you can travel between islands with proof of vaccination. The hope is that once Hawaii reaches the target of 70% vaccinated residents, they may be able to end the Safe Travels program altogether.
Current Maui COVID Restrictions: What to Expect on Island
Here’s a list of the most recent Maui COVID restrictions and what that means to you (as of June 15th, 2021). These rules include all Maui County islands; Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.
- Social Gatherings
When you’re indoors, you can gather in groups of up to 10 people and up to 25 people outdoors. Multiple groups can gather if there are 6 feet in distance between them. This doesn’t apply to events, schools, etc. that have people ensuring that COVID protocols are being followed.
- Face Coverings Required Indoors
Be sure to pack plenty of masks, as they’re still required when indoors by all people ages 5 and up (except when eating or drinking at a restaurant). No masks are required outdoors (as of June 15, 2021), however, Old Lahaina Luau requires all guests to continue wearing face masks when not sitting down and actively eating and/or drinking.
- Exposure Notification System
All residents and visitors to Maui County, are urged to download the AlohaSafe Alert app or another Google-Apple Exposure Notification System app or enable their exposure notification setting on their mobile device, just in case.
- Physical Distancing
Please continue to keep at least a six-foot distance from all people that are not from your household. This can be a challenge in congested areas, like Lahaina’s Front Street but we ask that you respect others’ personal space and wear a mask if outdoors in crowded areas or step aside to let others pass while keeping your distance.
- Limited Occupancy
Many restaurants and shops will be limited on how many people they can have indoors at one time. Please read all signs and peek inside to see if you can go on in or if you need to wait for others to exit first. The shop or restaurant owner can help you if you’re not sure. Please be patient, as we’re all just trying to get through this time safely.
- Keeping it Clean
You’ll find complimentary hand sanitizer out at most stores, restaurants, and activity locations, though it never hurts to carry your own. And you can bring bottles of up to 12 oz of hand sanitizer on the plane now. Employees that handle a lot of customer items, like cash or credit cards, are expected to be using hand sanitizer regularly.
Rest easy and know that businesses disinfect all high-touch surfaces, such as shopping carts, conveyor belts, counters, handles, knobs, and other high-touch surfaces multiple times throughout the day. Bring disinfectant wipes with you if you want to have the convenient option of wiping down your own surfaces.
- Clear Signs
You’ll see clearly posted signs at the entrance of each business letting you know about required face coverings, not to enter if you have a cough or fever, or are feeling ill, and maintaining a six-foot distance from others.
You can find the full text of the most recent Maui COVID restrictions on the Maui county website.
Travel Tips for the Latest Hawaii Travel Restrictions Update
Follow these tips to get to Maui safely and smoothly during COVID.
- PROTECT YOUR VACCINATION CARD
If you haven’t already done so, put and keep your vaccination card in a special place that is protected from wear and tear. DO NOT laminate it, but you can put it in a removable clear plastic sleeve. Be sure to take a photo of it on your phone, mark it in your favorite photos, and e-mail it to yourself or your family so you have backups. Always keep your card with you while traveling around Hawaii.
- PRINT A BACKUP
Your health care provider or third-party vendor that gave you your vaccination will have a record they can print out for you (or one that can print from home on your health care provider’s website or app if they have one). Not sure where to find it? Call the provider where you got your vaccine and ask! It never hurts to have backups to your backups! Go ahead and text and e-mail it to yourself again so you have access to your COVID vaccination records wherever you are.
- PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS
Now that you have proof of vaccination, plan your trip, and know that tourism is high right now, and going on the off-season (September to November) might be a better experience. Check with your favorite airline about any extra Hawaii travel restrictions 2021 is bringing and how that may impact your travel times.
- CREATE YOUR SAFE TRAVELS ACCOUNT
This is the place you’ll be uploading the photo of your vaccination card ahead of your trip. Everyone in your party 18 and up will need to log in to travel.hawaii.gov and create their own account. Children under 18 can be accounted for under an adult’s account. Follow the simple instructions and you’ll be on your way to Hawaii, stress-free! You’ll need to fill out some basic information, upload a photo/scan of your driver’s license, and a photo/scan of your vaccination card.
- TAKE THE 24-HOUR HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE
Visit your Safe Travels account within 24 hours of your departure time and complete the health questionnaire to get your QR code (the black and white boxy barcode) that will help you get approved for travel once you’re at the airport.
- GET TESTS SCHEDULED FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12 WITHIN 72 HOURS
At this time, to the best of our knowledge, children ages five (5) and older who aren’t vaccinated will need to follow the current pre-travel testing protocol. This means that children 5-12 who are not eligible for vaccination and children 13-17 who have not been vaccinated, would need to pass a COVID test within the 72-hour pre-travel test timeline.
- BRING MASKS AND SANITIZER FOR TRAVEL
Pack plenty of clean masks to switch out every few hours (they can get stinky!), antibacterial wipes, and hand sanitizer to keep your space clean
- ENJOY AND RESPECT
You made it to Maui during COVID! That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook from the pandemic. Please keep wearing your mask, washing your hands, and distancing to protect our island and local residents.
Still have questions about the Hawaii travel restrictions 2021 brings?
Call this helpful center with friendly local people standing by to help answer your COVID travel questions. It’s open 8:00 am to 4:30 pm HST Monday through Friday at (808) 270-7855.
Maui COVID Restriction FAQs
Do I need to wear a mask in Maui?
On May 25, 2021, Governor David Ige issued an amendment to the 19th emergency proclamation lifting the mask mandate for all individuals outdoors, effective immediately. Mask wearing is still highly recommended outdoors, when in large groups. Old Lahaina Luau requires all guests to continue wearing face masks when not sitting down and actively eating and/or drinking. The indoor mask mandate remains unchanged.
What if I lost my COVID vaccination card?
No problem, just contact your health care provider (or place where you got vaccinated) and ask for your Vaccination Administration Management System (VAMS) printout for another form of proof. Some provider websites or apps provide your VAMS for easy printing from home, as well. If you’re already approved through the Safe Travels website, you’re good to go!
What should I bring to Maui?
- Pack items that will make for a more comfortable flight, like snacks (though you’ll need to eat any fresh produce by landing), an empty water bottle to fill up, and light clothes for sunny Maui weather.
- Besides having proof of vaccination, you want to have all necessary medications and prescription glasses or contacts for yourself and family members.
- Bring fun things to stay entertained, especially if traveling with children. A couple coloring books can go a long way (for you OR the kids).
- Make sure to pack clean masks to switch out every few hours, wipes, and hand sanitizers to help avoid the spread of COVID.
Do I have to take the post-arrival rapid COVID test if I’m fully vaccinated*?
Maui’s post-arrival rapid testing program at Kahului Airport has ended, as of June 4, 2021. There is no longer any second (post-arrival) test required for travelers at this time.
International travelers will still need to take a test before leaving (as stated by the Safe Travels Program) to receive the travel quarantine exception. When deboarding the plane, your proof of vaccination will be confirmed by an employee, then you’re free to explore the island.
*Fully vaccinated means that you have received either both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine and it has been at least 14 days since your final dose. Proof of vaccination can be through your original CDC vaccination card or by showing your certificate of vaccination from the Vaccination Administration Management System (VAMS) from the CDC.
What about traveling to Maui with kids?
When traveling with keiki (children), keep these tips in mind:
- Children two years and up must wear a mask at the airport, during boarding, through the whole flight and while getting off at their destination.
- Minors (children under 18) do not need to have their own Safe Travels accounts, you can add them to an adult’s account as a minor.
- If you’re visiting from the U.S. Mainland, children under five do not need to quarantine or take a pre-travel test.