Hawaiʻi Reduces Quarantine Time for COVID-19 to Match CDC Guidelines
The mandatory quarantine period has dropped from ten days to five, along with a slew of other COVID-19 regulation changes.
In response to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, which has dominated COVID-19 news headlines for weeks, Hawaiʻi state officials have officially changed the Islands’ rules and regulations regarding quarantine mandates to align with CDC guidelines.
One of the biggest changes, especially for travelers, is that the 10-day mandatory quarantine for arriving visitors without vaccination documentation has been cut down to five days, according to a notice from John Monahan, president and CEO of the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau. This five-day quarantine period also applies to those who have tested positive for COVID-19, been exposed to somebody with COVID-19 or have arrived on island without previously administering a COVID-19 vaccine.
While visitors can still bypass the quarantine with proper vaccination documentation, those who decide to quarantine should note that the day of your arrival in Hawaiʻi counts as the first day of your quarantine, where it is required of you to stay in your hotel room or accommodation until the fifth day of your trip has passed.
“People are most contagious two days before they demonstrate symptoms and three days after, and that’s why the CDC is now changing its policy to just five days,” explained Lt. Gov. Josh Green.
It is important to note that these rules of release only apply to those who are shown to be asymptomatic after five days, while those still showing signs of COVID-19 should remain in isolation until they have fully recovered. “If you’re still symptomatic, you don’t get cleared,” said Green. “I should also note that even after five days, if you’re asymptomatic, and you get released, you’re still expected to wear a mask for the next five days, no matter where you are.”
It was also announced that the completion of the Safe Travels health questionnaire prior to departure will no longer be necessary for visitors and residents returning to the Islands. It is, however, still required that all visitors and locals wear masks when inside businesses or anywhere where it is required by the state—and those without vaccine cards still will not be seated at restaurants and bars. The state of Hawaiʻi is still going through its highest COVID-19 infection rate since the beginning of the pandemic, and we ask that visitors and residents show aloha to the community by following state guidelines and rules.
“We are adopting the CDC recommendations as one part of effort our to blunt the current very rapid spread of the omicron variant. These guidelines are practical to implement, making it easier for people to do the right thing. The guidance also acknowledges the waning immunity we are seeing with time after initial vaccination,” said state Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble in a news release. “There is still much we do not know about transmission dynamics of the omicron variant. We will continue to follow the science. We should all anticipate that guidance may continue to evolve in the coming weeks as we learn more.”