Hawaii Travel Update: September 2020

Since the novel coronavirus, covid-19 pandemic effectively shut down travel to Hawaii in April 2020, travelers from around the world keep asking, “Can I travel to Hawaii yet?” 

There is no simple answer but we live and work on Hawaii Island and stay abreast of local updates so we can give you the complex answer!  Currently through September 30, 2020, the entire state of Hawaii is under a mandatory 14-day quarantine mandate for all arriving visitors and residents.  This means you must go directly from the airport to your place of residence or hotel and you must stay there for 14 days. 

Get updates from the Hawaii Tourism Authority here: 


Can I stay in a legal vacation rental while under quarantine?  NO!  Legal short-term vacation rentals may not host guests under quarantine.

Are there any exceptions?  YES!  A booking of 31+ nights is considered a long-term rental according to the County of Hawaii.  Legal vacation rentals may, on occasion, rent for 31+ nights and assist travelers during the first 14 days of quarantine.  Our service providers can work with you to deliver groceries and other necessities while you hang out in your vacation rental home.

Are there exceptions for essential workers?  YES!  An exception to the short-term rental quarantine rule is for essential workers coming here for specific work with a letter from the County stating you may also travel to and from your work site.  No one under quarantine, even essential workers, may go to stores.  Our service providers can work with you to deliver necessities.

Ok, I’m willing to come to Hawaii and quarantine for 14 days. Where can I stay? Hotels and Resorts are legally allowed to quarantine visitors. You may also be able to stay with your family and friends.

I’ve been on Hawaii Island for more than 14 days and have cleared quarantine. May I rent a legal vacation rental now? YES! At Salt Water Vacations we just need to see proof that you have cleared your quarantine and then we are happy to host you at one of our beautiful, legal vacation rentals. E komo mai!

If I am in escrow buying a property in Hawaii, how can I come visit and view my property?  See above!  Other than the noted rules and exceptions, there are no provisions for property buyers to come to Hawaii to view their purchases. Talk to your Salt Water Real Estate Agent for advice.

Safe Travels Hawaii Program: https://travel.hawaii.gov/#/

Effective September 1, 2020 all arrivals into the State of Hawaii must register in our Safe Travels Hawaii Program and agree to follow all quarantine and health guidelines.  We know change is not easy, but we trust that if we all follow the guidelines, we’ll get through this in a spirit of ALOHA.

-Jess Gauthier, Principal Broker, Salt Water Real Estate

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