Hawaii Travel in Times of COVID-19 FAQS
Your Hawaii Travel Questions Answered
It goes without saying that travel has been drastically impacted by COVID-19. That includes travel to Hawaii. There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding what attractions are open, what the official protocols are and whether or not you can even travel to Hawaii during this time. We’ve created this guide as a resource for all travel-related inquiries. We’re updating it daily with any new developments and if you have any questions — let us know in the comments. We’ll do the research so you don’t have to.
UPDATE: April 6, 2020: Hawaii is under stay-at-home orders; these orders are in effect until April 30th. In addition, the 14-day, mandatory quarantine for Hawaii visitors and returning residents has been expanded to inter-island travel as well; beginning Wednesday, April 1, anyone traveling inter-island will also have to undergo a 14-day, mandatory quarantine. Those who break the quarantine guidelines could face a $5,000 fine and a year in jail.
In addition, Maui’s mayor is considering stricter safety measures like implementing a curfew and checkpoints; Police are issuing citations and warnings to beach goers who are laying out/sunbathing on the beach; and no parking will be allowed in Lanikai until April 30th.
1. Are there any Coronavirus cases in Hawaii?
Yes, there are currently 371 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hawaii.
This information was updated on April 6, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
2. If I have a trip planned, can I still come to Hawaii?
This is complicated and depends on where you’re traveling from, but the short answer is yes, technically. Hawaii is not closed to tourists, however, the state’s governor has urged visitors to stay away for 30 days. Anyone arriving to the islands will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine and many attractions are closed. With that being said, airlines are still operating flights, although many at decreased capacity. For example, Hawaiian Airlines, the state’s largest airline, only has two out-of-state flights in operation. These include a daily flight from Honolulu to Los Angeles and a once-weekly flight from Honolulu to American Samoa.
This does not apply to the island of Kauai — the island’s mayor announced on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, that air travel to and from the island should be limited to essential needs only.
It’s important that if you’re not feeling well you should cancel or postpone your trip. Not only is this vital to maintain the spread of the virus in Hawaii, but to also protect your fellow travelers and the people you interact with in transit. In addition to a quarantine, you’ll also have to go through an airport screening upon arrival (see question 5).
3. Have any airlines cancelled flights to Hawaii?
Yes, Hawaiian Airlines has grounded flights to and from South Korea, New Zealand and Australia. It has also reduced its capacity to and from Japan. In addition, Hawaii abides by the same travel regulations as the continental U.S., meaning travel from Europe is restricted.
Aside from Hawaiian Airlines, other carriers that operate flights to Hawaii, like Delta, have reduced their flight capacity.
4. What attractions are closed?
Many of Hawaii’s major attractions have been temporarily closed amidst the ongoing crisis, including all state parks. As of March 18, 2020 the governor has urged all tourist attractions to close. Here’s a breakdown of major attractions that are closed by island:
- Hanauma Bay (closed until April 30th)
- Kualoa Ranch (until further notice)
- Polynesian Cultural Center (closed until April 30th)
- Pearl Harbor (closed indefinitely)
- Sea Life Park (closed indefinitely)
- KCC Farmers Market (until further notice)
- The Leahi Farmers Market (until further notice)
- Children’s Discovery Center (until further notice)
- Honolulu Museum of Art (until further notice)
- Bishop Museum (until further notice)
- Aloha Stadium (closed until May 14th)
- All state parks including, Diamond Head, Iolani Palance and La’ie Point (closed until further notice) *this includes beach parks*
- Waikiki Aquarium (closed indefinitely)
- Wet n’ Wild (until further notice)
- Honolulu Zoo (closed until April 30th)
- All Honolulu city parks, tennis courts and golf courses (until further notice)
- Waimea Valley (until further notice)
- Oahu beaches are without lifeguards
- Ko Olina (until further notice)
- Dole Plantation (until further notice)
- Ala Moana Center (until further notice)
- Mauna Kea Visitor Center (closed until further notice)
- Kilauea Visitor Center at at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park — the park is still open (closed until further notice)
- All state parks including, Akaka Falls and Kealakekua Bay (closed until further notice)
- Haleakala National Park (closed until further notice)
- All state parks including, Waiʻanapanapa State Park and ʻIao Valley State Monument (closed until further notice)
- Hana Highway — the Road to Hana — is open to residents ONLY (until further notice)
- North Shore Shuttle, servicing Haʻena State Park and the Kalalau Trail (closed until further notice)
- Kalalau Trail (this is due to flash floods, not Coronavirus — and is closed until further notice)
- Sunshine Markets (closed until further notice)
- Camping at county beach parks (closed for up to 60 days)
- All state parks including, Haʻena State Park, Waimea Canyon State Park and Kokeʻe State Park (closed until further notice)
- Any visitors will need to require a day permit to visit the beach on Kauai; permits cost $5, but parking costs $50 (this is for non-residents only, until further notice)
Kauai has also set up check points to ensure that the state-wide, stay-at-home order is taken seriously. Ignoring the order can result in a citation and fine.
- Tours to Kalaupapa National Historical Park (closed until April 11th)
- All state parks (closed until further notice)
This list was updated on March 30, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. If you know of any closures that are not listed, please feel free to email us to let us know at email@example.com.
5. I have a trip planned and I’m not cancelling — will there still be things for me to do?
This is another complicated question that is frequently being updating, but as of March 23, 2020, all visitors arriving to Hawaii will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine. In addition, the entire state is under stay-at-home orders. Technically, there are things you can do, but these are extremely limited and must fall within the stay-at-home orders. This means, you can go outside to walk, run, or hike while social distancing (remember all state parks are closed, so that includes parks with hiking trails and beach parks). If you’re on the beach, you must be doing some sort of physical activity — you can walk, run, swim or surf — but you cannot lay and sunbathe. The governor has asked all bars, restaurants, clubs and tourist attractions to close. Which means food options would have to be take-out or delivery for you to eat at your accommodation. In addition, many accommodations have closed.
You should also know that Hawaii has also implemented airport screenings for travelers visiting the islands. Health care workers will take passengers’ temperatures and ask them questions upon arrival.
6. Are hotels closed?
As of March 25, 2020, more Hawaii hotels are closing. Below you’ll find a list of the hotels that are currently closed:
- Coconut Waikiki Hotel
- Four Seasons Resort Oahu
- Halekulani Hotel
- The Kahala Hotel & Resort
- Ko Olina Resort
- Prince Waikiki
- Paradise Bay Resort
- Princess Kaiulani
- The Ritz-Carlton Waikiki
- Royal Hawaiian
- Waikiki Beach Marriott
- Westin Moana Surfrider
- Club Wyndham Bali Hai Villas
- Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
- Sheraton Kauai Poipu
- Andaz Maui
- Fairmont Kea Lani
- Four Seasons Maui
- Kaanapali Beach Hotel
- Maui Seaside Hotel
- Montage Kapalua Bay
- Plantation Inn
- The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
- Royal Lahaina Resort
- Sheraton Maui
- Wailea Beach Resort
- Westin Maui
- Travaasa Hana
- Grand Wailea
- Hilo Seaside Hotel
- Kona Seaside Hotel
- Royal Kona Resort
- Waikoloa Marriott
Source: HTA and Star-Advertiser research
7. Are restaurants open?
The governor has directed all bars and clubs to close, and restaurants to go take-out, drive through, and delivery only. We actually recommend supporting local business during this time. If you’re looking for some local restaurant recommendations, check out our blog. Since you can’t dine in, order take out or delivery instead and bring it back to your hotel room.
Here’s a list of restaurants that are offering delivery and curbside pickup.
8. What about cruises?
Cruise Lines International Association, an industry trade association, will temporarily suspend its ocean-going cruise lines from entering U.S. ports of call for 30 days. Cruises lines that are part of the association include Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean. In addition, the CDC and State Department have discouraged travelers — especially those with underlying conditions — from cruising.
For cruises that are entering Hawaii ports, passengers will be required to undergo a virus screening which includes a temperature test.
9. Will airlines charge me change fees?
Many airlines are waiving change and cancellation fees amidst the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. The two major airlines that serve travelers to Hawaii are Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest. Below you’ll find links with more information about their cancellation policies during this time.
Other airlines that cater to Hawaii travelers are United, Delta and American. You’ll find their policies below:
10. Anything else I should know?
Hawaii is called the Aloha State for a reason. Aloha is more than just a word — it’s a way of life. While we use aloha to say hello and goodbye, the true meaning of the word is love. If you’re visiting Hawaii during this turbulent time, remember to practice aloha.
We hope that here at Shaka Guide, we can be a resource during this uncertain time. If you have any questions about Coronavirus and Hawaii travel please feel free to email us, comment below, or reach out on social media.