Maui Will Require Second Covid Test On Arrival Starting Later This Month

Hawaii’s re-opening to tourism has been a confusing mess, marked by an ever-changing set of rules, and inconsistent application.

  • They announced re-openings then pushed those back.

  • Individual islands have had different rules.

  • The Covid-19 tests they accept and do not accept to avoid quarantine on arrival make no sense. They have a specific list of testing partners, excluding places like tests from the Mayo clinic, yet accept testing labs not listed on their site because those labs are partners-of-partners.

  • Passengers with legitimate tests meeting Hawaii’s rules have been sent to quarantine anyway, or sent home to the mainland.

Now the rules for arriving in Maui are changing again.

  • All arrivals from outside the state will have to undergo a rapid test at the airport or go into 10-day quarantine. That’s in addition to the required test 72 hours prior to travel, and regardless of vaccination status (even as the state has discussed proof of vaccination in lieu of testing).

  • The specific date this will begin hasn’t announced yet, noting that it will take ‘at least 10 working days’ to get the program up and running, but it’s expected to start prior to end of April. There will be no cost to the traveler for this second test.

Hyatt Regency Maui

This could cause significant delays exiting the airport “during the three to four hour period when 10-12 trans-Pacific flights arrive” compounded by additional travelers arriving during that period due to delays to other flights.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This is only for Asian arrivals. The term transpacific is confusing, since Hawaii is right in the middle of the Pacific, but flights from the mainland aren’t considered Transpacific. Passengers on these flights have to go through customs/immigration, so it’s easier to segregate those travelers without interfering with mainland flights.

  2. @John H: Maui doesn’t have arrivals from Asia. There is no customers/immigration facility there. The only two airports in Hawaii that see flights from Asia are HNL and KOA.

    This “vaccine passport” idea can’t happen soon enough.

  3. If colon cancer kills more people than COVID-19, as a condition of tourist entry to Maui, I wonder if a stool sample analyzed by an approved testing partner to detect fecal occult blood in your poop will be required 72 hours before travel. In the Aloha Spirit of Hawai’i, this test would be in addition to a duplicate rapid test when you arrive at the airport.

  4. This is why I cancelled our February trip. They were changing the rules almost weekly (at least it seemed). I understand being fluid to keep up but..

  5. @ Charles, thanks for that. It’s people like Ken that’s prolonging this pandemic.

  6. @Charles. You are correct. Colon cancer isn’t contagious. However, the mandating of unnecessary duplicate medical tests seems to be contagious between health departments in Hawai’i. As Gary points out, different Hawaiian islands have different rules regarding acceptable COVID-19 tests.

  7. Oh dear Charles, you completely missed Ken’s joke and sense of humor. Just picture the testing for colon cancer in your mind, at an airport, and I think you’d’ chuckle a little bit.

  8. I was in Maui (Kaanapali) with my wife this past weekend. It was very crowded. Departing OGG on Sunday morning was a madhouse. I can only imagine how painful it would be to have hundreds of people queuing for a nasal swab on arrival. I assume this is an attempt to encourage tourists to consider other destinations.

  9. And this is why I have and will continue to refuse any consideration of Hawaii as a destination. It’s just too screwed up and not worth the effort to go there, particularly when many of the things that make Hawaii a must travel to destination you can’t even do now because of COVID restrictions.

  10. @Apple. I believe testing for colon cancer as a condition of being admitted to Maui is a useless diagnostic medical test for COVID-19. I also think arriving on your flight from California to Maui then being mandated to have an immediate COVID screening you received a few hours earlier before departure is a duplicate and useless medical diagnostic test. As @MeToo points out, some people missed the humor of administering fecal occult blood tests in an airport where some bathroom stalls are out of service for our safety. But there is good news. When you pay for unnecessary medical tests to an airline co-branded credit card, you might earn bonus frequent flyer miles. YMMV. 🙂

  11. Douglas Swalen,
    What in fact can you not do in Hawaii due to Covid. I just recently returned and outside of mask mandates and social distanced dining it’s business as usual.

  12. Typical government burocratic operation in action. Too many idiots who want to be chief. Besides the people who go to those island usually get pickled during their stay. What a better way to self sterilize one’s self.

  13. Commenting here from Maui right now. FWIW, the process to get here, while opaque, wasn’t that burdensome. My chief complaint is that it wasn’t clear at first that you had to get a test from an approved provider. Which made things logistically more challenging coming from the east coast. The positive was that Alaska Airlines pre-cleared you at the gate before departure so you didn’t have to wait in line with everyone else at OGG to have your test results verified, etc. this arrival test will really make things more difficult just in terms of time spent getting here. And with a third of Americans vaccinated it seems like it’s time to start rolling back restrictions, not add more, even just for vaccinated people. You could still upload an image of your vaccine card, show it upon arrival, and what not.

  14. What a public health disaster: Kahalui airport is already overcrowded with poor HVAC. The thought of literally hundreds of people squashed together – no space for six or three foot distancing, for hours, will do nothing but create a reservoir for this and all other infectious diseases. What public health official signed off on this disaster. Also the rapid tests have been researched and found to have high false positive: Will the airlines have enough flight space to send these people home? Will families be forced into “quarantine hotels” at their expense. The comment that Victorino wants to squelch tourism is correct. Listen for the rage as the vaccinated test positive and are sent home!!! The vaccinated shed virus for weeks after.

  15. Why would anyone want to go to Hawai’i anyway? Overpriced and over-entitled.

    Seriously, they have made it clear they don’t appreciate your business. So take it elsewhere.

  16. Lets hope they get their act together about vaccine passports. Those of us who got vaccinated shouldn’t have to be going through all this testing unless there is a reason to believe they may be infected.

  17. Hawaii is the State that proportionately killed the least amount of Americans with COVID.

    Bravo, well done!

  18. I struggle with having to take a post flight test that wasnt GOOD enough for me to get to travel to Hawaii..but now is good enough once i land to determine my fate. If this goes into effect prior to my flight date..we will cancel..Thank goodness i was fortunate to book with extremely flexible cancelation policies..based om my flight date in late April..the start date will determine if i go or not. Rapid tests have enough false positives that its not a gamble i am willing to take..even though i am fully vacinated. I will spend my money elsewhere.

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