Updated: Traveling to Hawaii? Positive COVID-19 Test Could Derail Trip

Hawaii: Positive COVID-19 Test Would Extend Trip 2 Weeks or More

Updated 10/30/20: A Hawaii-bound passenger with a pending result learned of a positive COVID-19 test result upon landing in Honolulu, prompting those seated by the passenger to also be taken into isolation for health checks and contact tracing, per Hawaii News Now. The infected passenger will have to isolate as his/her own expense for at least 2 weeks or more, and won't be permitted to fly back to the mainland, at least commercially, until she or he tests negative.

Traveling to Hawaii? Make Sure You Receive a Negative COVID-19 Test Result Before Boarding Your Flight, and be religious about mask wearing and health safety while in the islands. That's because if you do test positive for COVID-19 either as a result of your pre-travel test or during a second test while in Hawaii, you're required to quarantine for 14 days, at your own expense.

This may not be understood by all of the 6000-7000 visitors who have been arriving daily since Hawaii reopened and allowed visitors with a negative pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test to skip Hawaii's 14-day quarantine.

Since the test must have been taken within the 72 hours prior to boarding the flight to Hawaii, some travelers may not yet have their negative result before boarding.

Another possibility for Big Island of Hawaii-bound visitors, even for those with a negative COVID-19 PCR result, is testing positive during the Big Island's 2nd COVID-19 test on arrival. This test is an antigen test, so any travelers who test positive during this test are subsequently given a PCR test, and must quarantine in their lodging until receiving a negative result.

But what happens if under either of these circumstances, a visitor who hasn't yet received a pre-travel test result, or one who is tested again, receives a positive COVID-19 result while in Hawaii?

As you might expect, commercial airlines will NOT fly you back while you're COVID-19 positive. Airlines require the passenger to quarantine in Hawaii and, in the case of United, must not have tested positive within the past 14 days. That could mean a much longer quarantine than 14 days.

Another aspect is that, if you're traveling with your family, or with a friend or other companion and you have a COVID-19 positive result, your family or travel companion(s) will also be required to quarantine for 14 days, even if they haven't tested positive.

You also aren't permitted to quarantine in a rented lodging for less than 30 days, at least through 11/30/20, and this date could be extended. Self-quarantine must take place in a hotel or motel, with all groceries and meals delivered–you aren't permitted to leave for any reason other than emergency medical care in a hospital.

Hawaii: Pre-Travel COVID-19 Testing
Hawaii: Positive COVID-19 Test Would Extend Trip 2 Weeks or More


Of course, Hawaii isn't the only place to require mandatory quarantine should you test positive for COVID-19, it's just one of the few places the U.S. visitors can get to even if they don't have a negative COVID-19 test result, due to Hawaii being a U.S. state, not a foreign country.

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1 year ago

We are planning to rebook our cancelled 2020 Hawaii summer family Vacation for August 2021
The 2020 plan involves 2 islands, Maui and big island and more than one hotel on each island in different location but given the COVID situation, would you recommend to simplify the trip(skip big island) and only staying at one resort in Maui?
Is the simplify trip still worth it? We are on the east coast and don’t plan to go back to Hawaii In at least 5 years after this trip