What to Know Before Visiting Maui, Hawaii – Weather, COVID Warnings

COVID-19 the pandemic has upended travel to Hawaii, and as the pandemic has evolved, the restrictions for flying to Hawaii have evolved as well. The state has implemented the Safe Travels Hawaii Program to help visitors enjoy the island (or residents return home) while mitigating the spread of the virus.

As someone who lives in Hawaii and has recently taken trips to and from the state, I suggest planning ahead and making sure you have your test results and documents ready by the time you need to leave, because the process can be frustrating and slow. . Please also note that Hawaii still currently has an indoor mask mandate, at the time of publication.

Domestic flights

Currently, to enter the state of Hawaii, passengers arriving from the continental United States must provide proof of vaccination or a negative pre-travel test in order to circumvent a mandatory five-day quarantine using its Safe Travels online portal.

Keep in mind that all testing and quarantine costs are your responsibility, so factor them into your budget accordingly.

International flights

If you are arriving in Hawaii from an international location, you must follow the US federal process to travel safely.

If you are vaccinated

Regardless of your origin, you will need to upload your vaccination card information to the Safe Travels online platform before your flight. At the gate, depending on your airline, you may be pre-screened and given a wristband to proceed to baggage claim upon arrival in Hawaii.

Otherwise, you will have to register with your documents as if you were registering at customs, which means that you could have a long wait. And note that vaccinations are only valid after 14 days after your second dose.

If you are not vaccinated

According to Safe Travels website, you’ll need to take a COVID-19 test “within 72 hours of the last leg of departure,” meaning if you depart from Los Angeles to Hawaii on, say, January 15, 2022, you’ll have to view test results from January 12 or later.

If you are flying from New York to San Francisco and then to Hawaii, you will choose your flight time from San Francisco by PST. Upload your test results to the Safe Travels platform in pdf format or print them out and have them on hand for your flight.

Children under 5 are not required to take the test. Safe Travels will only accept tests from these health partners, so do your research before booking any test.

If you choose not to be tested or if you test positive, you will need to quarantine for 10 days or the length of your stay, whichever is shorter, at a hotel, motel or your home – a Airbnb or a vacation rental. is not authorized.

You also won’t be allowed to rent a car, and you’ll need to have groceries and other supplies delivered to you. If you violate the quarantine, you could be fined. The Ministry of Health will register you via your hotel or personal number and email address.

An aerial view of Lahaina Beach and Lighthouse in Maui, Hawaii.

Keep in mind COVID restrictions, weather advisories, and local laws before visiting Maui.

Kathleen Wang

Here are some tips for smooth travel from the continental United States to Hawaii and vice versa:

  • Always carry a pen when traveling to Hawaii. Each group of passengers must complete an agricultural form which is given to you during your flight. Airlines don’t always have enough pens for passengers, so to avoid having to ask someone to borrow their pen, consider keeping one in your hand luggage.
  • The ecosystem is fragile, so there are some items you can’t bring into the state from the continental US, especially plants and produce (unless you bought them at the airport after TSA check-in ). Learn more about restricted items here.
  • Bringing your pet to accompany you on your Hawaiian vacation is tricky, as the state has strict animal laws. If you do not have the necessary vaccines for your animal, it will be quarantined at the airport. In my opinion, it’s not worth it, but you can Learn more here.

When is the best time to visit Hawaii?

A lot of people say we don’t have seasons in Hawaii since it never gets that cold, but we do have two: summer and winter.

Our winter is mild, but the weather can impact your trip. Temperatures are generally cooler, dropping into the mid to low 60s Fahrenheit at night, and days can be windy or rainy, meaning some hikes can be too muddy.

Winter also impacts ocean swells and currents, making some beaches, usually on the northern shore, unsuitable for swimming and better for advanced surfing. For example, Honolua Bay is calm in the summer and great for snorkeling; in winter it’s dangerous for regular swimmers but becomes a surfing hotspot.

Check out Insider’s complete guide to visiting Maui.

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