Countries haven’t exactly made getting new passport stamps easy this year. For US travelers, the blow was soften this year by Hawaii, which provided an other worldly destination where passports weren’t required.
Instead, to protect the fragile resources of the beautiful islands, a stringent covid-19 testing regime was demanded in place of a passport, adding both cost and hassle to the travel process.
For the first time since the early days of the pandemic, Hawaii is dropping pre-flight testing requirements for all US travelers who were vaccinated in any US state, not just Hawaii. It means your next trip is almost as simple as grabbing your vaccination card, ID and hopping on a plane.
Some Hawaiian Islands aren’t too excited about it though.
Hawaii Makes Travel Easier, But Not Everyone Is Happy
As of July 9th, fully vaccinated US visitors can travel to Hawaii without taking a pre-flight test, so long as they have received all required doses in the USA – and at least 14 days have passed since the final dose.
Proof can be easily uploaded to the Hawaii ‘Safe Travels’ website, allowing for a mostly seamless entry on the ground. Hawaii had already dropped restrictions around inter island prior to the news, which means island hopping is certainly possible.
For its part, Maui is asking airlines not to capitalize on demand. The nature rich island is experiencing unprecedented demand, and the new relaxed testing requirements will only help fuel further interest. Airlines don’t seem to be listening.
The Mayor of Maui has politely asked airlines to stop sending quite so many visitors, until the hospitality can reboot and cope more adequately. Concerns around adequate resources for any unforeseen circumstances, such as hospitalizations are apparently a key issue, according to KHON.
A Great Time To Visit?
With the changes, Hawaii is now one of the easiest and most attractive options for fully vaccinated Americans.
Competitive new routes have brought flight prices to all time lows, and a variety of loyalty program focused hotels present options to curb hospitality costs on the islands as well. Without $150-$200 pre-flight tests, money can go further in paradise.
If Hawaii has been on your list, these newly relaxed testing restrictions are a jolt of excitement, as the world slowly starts to swing open its doors, yet again. Mahalo!