What it’s like to travel to Hawaii right now

The Covid-19 pandemic has decimated the Hawaiian tourism-dependent economy. The island chain all but shut down to travel back in March.

Reopening safely was a primary goal in order to get those tourist dollars back, and by July, the governor announced a pretravel testing program so visitors could forgo the state’s mandatory (and strictly enforced) 14-day quarantine.

But reopening dates shifted a few times between July and October, until the governor and local health authorities deemed it safe to reopen, with the pretesting of passengers arriving from the mainland. Japanese tourists are also permitted to participate in the pretravel testing program.

Travelers must submit to a PCR Covid-19 test within 72 hours of flying to Hawaii, or if available, passengers traveling on Alaska, American and United Airlines can schedule a rapid test at certain airports in the hours just before departure.

The on-airport, pre-departure rapid tests are expensive and book up very quickly.

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