Breaking News: Hawaii To Reopen on October 15

Per Hawaii-Guidethis October 15, 2020 date is tentative and will be re-evaluated.

Also, the state will only accept a negative FDA-approved NAAT (nucleic acid amplification test) test prior to arrival in Hawaii, and must be conducted by a Clinical Laboratory Imporvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory no more than 72 hours prior to the visotor’s departure. There will also be no testing available upon arrival. 

The negative test will need to have been conducted by a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory no more than 72 hours prior* to the visitor’s departure and will need to be an FDA-approved NAAT test. To reiterate, this test result must be confirmed prior* to arrival in Hawaii and the visitor must present evidence of this test upon arrival.


Per Beat of Hawaii and KITV, the state of Hawaii will reopen to travelers from mainland US starting on October 15 without a mandatory 14-day quarantine, provided they can provide a negative test within 72 hours of departure.

There is currently no word on which tests will be accepted. Is it going to be solely based on the conventional PCR test which may take more than 72 hours to get results? What about the new 15- minute rapid test which is dubbed the game-changer in reopening? I will report with more details as soon as I have them. Testing partners include CVS Pharmacies and Kaiser Permanente.

Those who cannot provide a negative test result will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, same as before.

What about Other Islands, And Kauai's Resort Bubble?

Also announced earlier today, Kauai was going to begin a resort bubble. However, with the announcement of the state-wide reopening, it appears this is no longer relevant in light of Governor Ige’s announcement this afternoon.

However, it remains to be seen if individual counties / islands will keep their quarantine practices in place.

Impact on Canadians and Other Foreigners

Mum is the word on international travelers. For the Canadians itching to travel to Hawaii this fall and winter seasons, they may want to consider transiting in the US before arriving in Hawaii. However, many questions still arise:

  • Can Canadians get a test (and result) in the US quickly?
  • Will tests taken in Canada be accepted?
  • If so, what kind of tests in Canada will be accepted?
  • Can one fly direct from Canada to Hawaii with a negative test and be exempt from the quarantine?

As a reminder, it remains on the horizon that Canadians will have to do a 14 day self isolation upon returning to Canada; the country announced the border closure extension with US for another 30 days, until October 21, with a high probability of further extension. So plan accordingly if you must go.