Your Definitive Guide To Traveling To Hawaii : COVID19 Safety Measures

It started off as an uncontainable wildfire in the beginning of the year.
And then slowly transformed into something so small, yet so impactful.

The coronavirus ruled over 2020 and shook our lives from its roots.
Only to make us realize of a global pandemic overcast.

Travel was one of the majorly affected industries and its recovery is still in the works. Many countries and states enforced varying degrees of safety measures upon travelers.

Amongst the few states in the USA that administered these guidelines, one of them, with impeccable safety measures, is Hawaii.

When we decided to give travel a go, we were definitely hesitant. Given the state of things, it was only normal that we couldn’t completely trust traveling.

And we had planned a trip to Big Island, Hawaii.

So, we did a thorough research on all the mandated safety measures.
This included both, the measures imposed by the state of Hawaii and Southwest Airlines. 

In all honesty, it was definitely comforting to learn about them. These precautionary measures not only ensured our safety, but also the safety of the land we were stepping onto.

We will walk you through the process, step-by-step, in this article .

This is a concise guide to all the travel safety rules while we were traveling to Big Island, Hawaii.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. Before Travel

Pre-Travel Covid19 Test

The state of Hawai’i mandates a pre-travel Negative covid result taken within 72 hours of your departure from the final leg of your trip. 

What this implies is this. 

If you are traveling from New York to Big Island, Hawaii via San Fransisco, you should ensure your COVID19 test result is negative and taken within 72 hours of your departure from San Francisco. 

Whether you are a resident of the Hawaiian Islands or a visitor to the rainbow state, you will need to present a negative test result to avoid a 10-day quarantine upon arrival at the destination.

Here is a list of trusted testing and travel partners that the State of Hawaii accepts test results from.

And, have a copy of your test result printed out before you arrive at the destination.

Uploading Information

Once you receive your negative test result, you will need to upload your result along with  preliminary personal and travel information at the Safe travels Hawai’i website.

This allows the airport officials to verify your negative test result without which you will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine.

Upon completion of your Mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health form, a QR code will be emailed to you for each leg of your travel.

Make sure you present this QR code (printed or digital) to the airport authorities along with a valid photo ID.

Airport/ Airline Guidelines

Follow all airport and airline travel guidelines at all times. 

Southwest airlines mandates keeping your mask on throughout the travel.
The airline serves snacks and water only, so be well equipped with food during your flight.

2. Upon Arrival

Airport Temperature Check 

Once you arrive at Big Island, you will be asked to present your QR code which will pull out your pre-travel test results. 

You will be subject to quarantine for 10 days if:

  1. You do not present a negative COVID19 test result taken 72 hours prior to your last leg of your journey, or
  2. Your result appears indeterminate or inconclusive, or
  3. Your results are unavailable

Once the airport personnel verify and clear your pre-travel test, you will be directed to another area to get your temperature checked.

Any passenger whose temperature is more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, will be temporarily retained.

On-Arrival COVID19 Test

You will go through another round COVID19 test upon arrival. 

Healthcare personnel will collect your nose swab sample, on-site, and give you your result within 15-20 minutes.

Only if you show a negative result will you be allowed to go to baggage claim.

For additional quarantine related guidelines, you can check the State of Hawaii’s official website.

3. On The Island

While on the island, be mindful of your surroundings and always wear a mask or a face covering in all public spaces.

Most of the hotels, restaurants and car rentals ask you to provide your QR code for additional verification too.

A friendly tip – Have your QR code handy at all times, just to prevent spending a couple of extra minutes looking for it.

National parks, beaches and other tourist spots are open, some with restrictions. So, practice physical distancing at all times and again, wear a mask unless you have to eat.


The state of Hawaii is exceptional in its safety standards as it tries to balance a fight against the pandemic and manage its tourism industry.

The high level of precautionary measures they warrant gives you mental peace when it comes to feeling safe on the island.

The hotels are thoroughly sanitized frequently, the restaurants are not crowded and the airports are very strict in their health measures.

For additional details, please visit the State of Hawaii website.

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