Please read carefully and check our website before your trip for rates, programs & updates
June 1, 2021
For almost three decades, HawaiiGolfDeals.com has endeavored to provide outstanding value and comprehensive information for those intrigued by a Hawaii golf vacation. However, due to the Covid-19 crisis, we are hard-pressed to do what we do best. Hawaii—its golf courses, accommodations, car rental agencies, restaurants and tourist attractions—has been hit hard by the pandemic. For all intents and purposes, the state was closed for the last three quarters of 2020. Although there was a sort of opening of the tourism in early 2021, there are strict rules for Covid testing and quarantine that must be investigated and complied with. We have updated them herein.
The fact that each airline, rental car agency, accommodation & golf course also creates its own rules and regulations, in accord with municipal and state regulations, make keeping up with it all much more demanding.
BE ADVISED: We will continue to offer quotes and bookings for vacation packages for 2021, which must include two basic travel elements (air/vehicle/lodging, or air/vehicle, or air/lodging, or lodging/vehicle). Click here to get a vacation package quote. However, we can no longer quote or book vehicle-only due to current market conditions (see below). That may change later in the year.
Here are some sub-categories that you can and should review for informational purposes…
Covid numbers are and have been minimal in Hawaii. However, the state has chosen to protect residents and the overall lack of ICU hospital beds. The neighbor islands (Big Island, Maui & Kauai) have but a handful or two of ICU beds and small hospitals. Accordingly, the chosen scenario basically revolves around keeping the virus out of the island state. If you’re planning travel to Hawaii, be sure you know ALL the constantly changing rules, regulations and Covid-19 protocols. Every airline, every island, every vehicle rental, every accommodation, every restaurant and every golf course have varying protocols. Please be fully aware of what the rules before you visit!
GOLF & GOLF COURSES
There have been two types of course closures in Hawaii during the past year. Upon information, two courses—Koolau GC on Oahu & Volcano GC on The Big Island—have shuttered permanently. We also know that Puakea GC on Kauai and Kahili GC on Maui are closed indefinitely. The other course closures are generally found at multi-course resorts, where operators have decided to open only one course rather than two in the interest of cost efficiency. This is the case at Waikoloa Resort and Mauna Lani Resort on The Big Island.
There are also various new rules and regulations at courses regarding Covid-19 testing, presenting credentials, cart sharing and restricted operating hours. While making a tee time is now possible on very short notice, there is absolutely no reason to make a tee time more than a week out. A day or two before is generally just fine. What is most important is to call and inquire as to best rates, specials, new rules and revised hours of operation.
Hawaii’s rental agencies returned more than 30,000 vehicles (40% of the fleet) to the mainland during the middle of 2020. Most were sold to private parties. This means there are far fewer available vehicles in Hawaii and everywhere else. Accordingly, the price has gone way up. Our rates more than doubled, so we are not offering vehicles as a stand-alone offering at this time. There are better rates out there right now that we cannot compete with and we urge you to shop around. But be prepared for serious sticker shock wherever you are renting a vehicle.
Your best value will be full-size, premium and certain SUVs, not the small vehicles that are not well suited for golfers. The best online rate we’ve been able to find is about $420 per-week, inclusive of taxes/fees/surcharges. We advise you shop early and reserve a vehicle with no prepayment. Then, shop it out every couple of weeks and react to the best deal. We suggest examining AutoSlash.com, Priceline, Hotwire and Orbitz, where we see some of the better deals. We can still include vehicles at competitive pricing within our complete packages and land packages. If you are planning to visit Hawaii during the last quarter of the year, there is a chance we will receive a worthwhile contract and be able to offer the best rates at that time. Please contact us again after August 15th.
THE LATEST RULES & REGULATIONS FOR VISITING HAWAII
Since Hawaii officially reopened to visitors, the rules that apply to arrivals remain in a state of flux, which, to say the least, is challenging when planning a Hawaii golf adventure. This is the latest information culled from various sources. That being said, this is only a guide, which is intended to be helpful and not the final word. Therefore, due to the nature and scope of the pandemic, we cannot be responsible for any changes or misrepresentations.
Here is what has changed since the last update…
- Mandatory 2nd on-arrival tests on Maui began in May. There is a vaccination exemption.
- Big Island 2nd on-arrival tests have ended as of June 1.
- Kauai rejoined Hawaii Safe Travels in April and has no 2nd on-arrival test required.
- Latest update on vaccination travel plans and limited new exemptions for visitors.
Currently, the state has not finalized its plan for how and when Hawaii travel for vaccinated visitors will start. Until further notice, those traveling to any Hawaii destination from the mainland are required to have an approved COVID test from a “trusted partner” within 72 hours of travel.
- There is currently an interisland testing exemption, which is only valid for Hawaii residents who were vaccinated in Hawaii. You are still required to complete the Safe Travels online form and upload proof of vaccination.
- The state plans to have a vaccination exemption for mainland visitors, which is expected to start this summer. Plans are being finalized at this time.
- Interisland passengers traveling to Honolulu do not require a pre-travel or on-arrival test.
- Interisland travelers to all islands other than Honolulu/Oahu (who are not exclusively in transit to another destination) must have an approved COVID test from a “trusted partner” within 72 hours of travel (unless you qualify for an exemption under #1).
- It is anticipated that interisland testing requirements will likely be eliminated soon, but it has not occurred yet.
Travel to Hawaii: COVID testing
- Testing will remain even when the anticipated vaccination exemption has been implemented. You must test within 72 hours of a scheduled transpacific flight departure to Hawaii, and tests must be from one of the Hawaii-approved testing partners. Costs for testing are borne by travelers and can vary from free to $250 per person. See testing providers at the end of this presentation.
- Hawaii requires NAAT/PCR testing only, and nothing else is acceptable. Also, the test source must be one of Hawaii’s trusted partners, not any lab, even when it is the correct test. The specific language in effect is as follows: “The state of Hawai‘i will ONLY accept Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab test results from TRUSTED TESTING AND TRAVEL PARTNERS. A negative COVID-19 test result is required before departure to avoid quarantine in Hawaii.”
- The minimum age for testing is age 5. All travelers 5 and above must have a COVID-19 test and negative results through one of the state’s trusted testing partners. Note: Some trusted testing partners test all ages. Others do not.
Follow the rules closely to avoid quarantine
Hawaii is not flexible about those who don’t get test results on time, take the wrong test, or obtain them from the wrong source. The state does not make any exceptions. Should anything go awry, you could end up having to leave Hawaii or enter the mandatory quarantine of 10 days. However, don’t let that dissuade you—more than 450,000 visitors per month are now arriving successfully, and the vast majority avoided problems. That being said, there are nightmare stories of those who took the wrong test, obtained it from the wrong source, or took it a day too early, ruining their expensive and long-planned Hawaii vacation.
Register for the Hawaii Safe Travels program
- All arrivals 18 and older must register through the Hawaii Safe Travels online program. That is a mandatory requirement for both mainland and interisland travel.
- Negative test results must be in hand as well as uploaded to the Safe Travels website before departure on your flight from the US mainland to Hawaii. If you have multiple flights, the within 72-hour timeframe is based on the last flight that ends with your landing in Hawaii.
- A mandatory health questionnaire must be added to your Safe Travels account within 24 hours before departure.
- The QR code for your mainland to Hawaii flight will be required for presentation on arrival, as will the additional QR code for any connecting flight.
Hawaii-bound passengers of these airlines can have their testing results checked before departure instead of on arrival. In addition, your airline will verify your Safe Travels profile and provide you with a pre-clear wristband, which allows you to bypass airport arrival procedures in Hawaii. Visitors are raving about how much this has helped the process.
ISLAND BY ISLAND RULES & REGULATIONS
The rules below are in addition to the required 72-hour pre-travel testing requirement, which is in effect statewide. Other than Honolulu/Oahu, each county has enacted separate and varying rules listed below. Avoid frustration and confusion associated with travel rules with these details. Visit links to the county websites.
- A second, mandatory, on-arrival rapid test at the airport is eliminated effective June 1.
- For interisland arrivals, a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure to the Big Island is also required (fully vaccinated Hawaii residents are exempted).
- There is no second on-arrival test required on Kauai.
- For interisland arrivals, a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure to Kauai is required (fully vaccinated Hawaii residents are exempted)
Maui Regulations (includes Lanai & Molokai)
- A second, mandatory, on-arrival rapid test at the airport may be performed.
- There is a vaccination exemption for the on-arrival 2nd test. Travelers must provide proof of vaccination, which took place at least 14 days prior to arrival. Proof consists of your original CDC vaccination card or certificate of vaccination downloaded from the CDC’s Vaccination Administration Management System (VAMS).
- For interisland arrivals, a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure to Maui is also required (fully vaccinated Hawaii residents are exempted).
- Maui ordered that arriving travelers use a mandatory contact-tracing app. That information is no longer prominently featured on the county website.
No special requirements at this time other than the statewide ones listed above.
How does the Hawaii 10-day quarantine work?
For those considering quarantine, here are the rules:
- You must stay at your hotel (no vacation rentals allowed) except to leave for the airport or obtain emergency medical treatment.
- Food and other supplies will need to be delivered, and you will not be permitted to go out for shopping or any other errands.
- Any hotel space outside your room is also prohibited (includes pools, restaurants, beaches, and gyms).
- Hotels will provide you with a one-time entry key so that you may not leave your accommodation and return.
- You are not permitted to rent a car while you are in quarantine.
- Violation of quarantine requirements can result in a fine of up to $5,000 or up to now a year in jail.
Travelers with stopovers in Hawaii
If your flight requires you to stop in Honolulu/Oahu (or Maui) before transiting to one of the other islands, the negative test within 72 hours of scheduled departure for Hawaii will be accepted to your final destination.
Note: If you have an actual layover on Oahu or another island and you leave the airport, you will have to adhere to the additional testing requirements before proceeding to any island other than Oahu.
This is convoluted and we suggest you call the county health department for the island(s) you will be visiting for their specific rules and regulations.
Hawaii’s trusted testing partners
Digital Health Pass
CommonPass (only select Hawaiian Airlines & United Airlines routes)
American Family Care (AFC)+
American Samoa Department of Health+
CityHealth Urgent Care+
Clarity Lab Solutions+
Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation+
CVS Health (only www.cvs.com/selfpaytesting, not a different CVS website or walk-in)
Discovery Health MD
Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc. (DLS Guam)
Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services
GoHealth Urgent Care*+
Kaiser Permanente (members only)
UC San Diego Health+
University Medical Center of Southern Nevada+
University of Washington Medicine+
Clinical Laboratories of Hawaii
CVS Health/Longs Drugs (only www.cvs.com/selfpaytesting, not a different CVS website or walk-in)
Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DLS)
Hawaii Pacific Health
Kaiser Permanente (members only)
National Kidney Foundation of Hawai‘i’s Consortium**+
S&G Labs Hawaii LLC
Urgent Care Hawaii
Oakland International Airport
Ontario International Airport