Hawaii Drops Testing and Vaccine Requirements for Domestic Travelers

Nonessential travel to Hawaii is officially allowed again, with some COVID-related restrictions and requirements.
Updated
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Written by Sally French
Lead Writer/Spokesperson
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Edited by Kevin Berry
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Hawaii non-essential travel tourism

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Tourists can finally say “aloha” to Hawaii, without the paperwork.

As of March 26, 2022, travelers flying domestic routes to Hawaii are no longer required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result at arrival. The quarantine requirement has also been lifted and the Safe Travels program has ceased operations.

“We started the Safe Travels program to protect the health, lives and livelihoods of the people of Hawaii. The program put in place safety protocols that included a multi-layered screening and testing approach that kept our communities safe during the COVID-19 surges that endangered the most vulnerable of our citizens,” Ige said in a statement. “Right now, we are seeing lower case counts, and hospitalizations are coming down.”

What you need to travel to Hawaii

For domestic travelers

You no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter Hawaii if you're flying from the mainland U.S.

For international travelers

The federal government still mandates a COVID-19 test to enter the U.S. from abroad via airplane.

For vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, you need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test completed no more than one day prior to your air travel back to the U.S. if you're vaccinated. If you’ve recently been infected with COVID-19, you can also opt to show proof of recovery. This requirement is for all air passengers at least 2 years of age.

Easy ways to save money on travel to Hawaii

There are five especially good airline sweet spots for booking on points and miles for flights to Hawaii. If you don’t have points, cash fares on Southwest flights to Hawaii can also be reasonable. Plus, Southwest has one of the best change policies out there.

Once you’re there, you might as well island hop if you want to cover as much ground as possible. Flights between islands are generally less than an hour and can be affordable.

Don’t overlook vacation rentals. Not only are they more likely to be cheaper than hotels, but they also often have kitchens so you can avoid having to dine out, and typically you won’t pay resort fees.

Speaking of saving money on food, dining out can certainly be part of the Hawaiian experience, but beware of overpriced oceanfront restaurants. Many convenience stores sell freshly made poke, Spam musubi and other snacks you can take to a beachfront picnic for free views and cheaper eats than had you dined at a restaurant.

The bottom line

The COVID-19 requirements to enter Hawaii are gone, making it much easier and less stressful to travel to the islands.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:

Travel Cards from Our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Points
Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1.5%-5%

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Cashback

Intro offer

Up to $300

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
4.7
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-5x

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Miles
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