How to get pre-travel COVID-19 test for Hawai‘i

LIHU‘E — Starting today, CVS Health opens up an online portal for travelers to schedule their pre-test to head into Hawai‘i.

This $139 per-person test, if negative, is a ticket to bypass the state’s two-week quarantine.

On Wednesday, Gov. David Ige said the state isn’t anticipating a flood of travelers when it reopens on Oct. 15, but the state is prepared to ensure the safety of the islands.

“The health of our community remains our primary focus, and I want the people of Hawai‘i to have confidence that the state is acting with their health and well-being in mind,” Ige said Wednesday.

“The pre-travel testing program will add an additional layer of protection for Hawai‘i when combined with our Safe Travels mandatory online health questionnaire, airport temperature screening, improved contact tracing and the many other safety protocols we have in place,” Ige said.

Adults are asked to register for the Safe Travels program at hawaiicovid19.com after booking flights.

The state is requiring travelers aged 5 and older to use one of 12 testing partners. Specifically, these partners have worked with the state’s Department of Health, so in the case a test must be double-checked, the state has the authority to do so.

No earlier than 72 hours before departure, travelers wishing to use the pre-test program should take a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified federal Certified Laboratory Improvement Amendments lab.

CVS Health is expecting the majority of test results to be available within two to three days. Select “Travel to Hawai‘i” from the drop-down at cvs.com/selfpaytesting.

Airline partners offering tests

Hawaiian Airlines has partnered with Worksite Labs to provide a drive-thru PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test at sites near Los Angeles and San Francisco airports. Tests are $90 for results within 36 hours or $150 for day-of-travel express service.

Hawaiian has also partnered with Vault Health to offer a $150 mail-in PCR saliva test kit.

“As Hawai‘i’s hometown airline, we are pleased to offer our guests convenient testing options that will allow us to welcome more travelers, including U.S. mainland visitors and kama‘aina returning home, as we safely reopen our economy,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing for Hawaiian Airlines, in a press release.

Southwest Airlines is offering pre-trip communication information to travelers with testing options specific to their journeys.

United Airlines travelers flying from San Francisco International Airport to Hawai‘i will have the option to take a rapid COVID-19 test at the airport administered by GoHealth Urgent Care and Dignity Health. The results will come in approximately 15 minutes.

United travelers can go online in advance. GoHealth Urgent Care’s dedicated COVID-19 testing area is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Standart Time daily.

United is also working with Color on a test that meets the state’s requirements, and will also be available for the airline’s customers traveling from San Francisco to Hawaiʻi starting Oct. 15.

United will email customers with their testing options, but the on-site testing is only available for flyers with an itinerary originating in San Francisco.

Pharmacies

Kaiser Permanente members can schedule a test online at kp.org/travel, call center or nurse-advice line. Hawai‘i residents can call the Away-from-Home Travel Line at 951-268-3900.

Walgreens is also offering tests, and more information can be found at walgreens.com/Covid19Testing.

Quest Diagnostics is offering nasal-swab testing at over 500 Walmart drive-thru pharmacy locations. Information can be found at questcovid19.com/hawaii.

West Coast

In Seattle, Alaska Airlines flyers can schedule appointments beginning Monday, Oct. 12 at the Carbon Health Seattle pop-up clinic.

CityHealth Urgent Care is offering tests in the Bay Area, San Francisco, San Leandro and the Oakland Airport.

The state of Hawai‘i has also partnered with AFC Urgent Care in Portland, Oregon. Appointments can be made at 503-305-6262, ext: 1.

“AFC Urgent Care is excited to work with the state of Hawai‘i as it implements its pre-testing program. With five clinics across the Portland metro area, we look forward to providing testing services for travelers in order to keep them and Hawai‘i’s residents safe,” Managing Partner Guru Sankar said.

By mail

Vault Health is offering an FDA-authorized saliva test with virtual supervision for adults and children.

The test is shipped by UPS overnight to the individual and returned back to the lab with priority shipping. Results are expected within 72 hours.

“We will do everything possible to support Governor Ige and the government of Hawai‘i in making the health and safety of its residents and visitors their top priority,” Vault Health Founder and CEO Jason Feldman said in a press release

“By facilitating this supervised, at-home, saliva COVID-19 test, Vault Health works every day to ensure individuals can make plans and travel with confidence knowing they have the most accurate and timely results possible,” said Feldman.

•••

Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

39 Comments
  1. Elaine Oborne October 10, 2020 5:01 am Reply

    Aloha, my husband and I hope to fly Vancouver to Lihue nov. 5 on westjet. IF we got a neg NAAT
    Test for covid from our hospital/doctor here, would it qualify
    Mahalo Elaine an Lorne Oborne


    1. Marcus Ocean October 16, 2020 10:59 am Reply

      Aloha Elaine

      Unfortunately it does not qualify. While it’s the EXACT same test, it must be conducted by one of the State of Hawaii’s travel program partners at this time, which are listed here https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel-partners/

      If you can fly into the U.S. first you may have enough time to get it done. Hopefully the state extends the partner program to Canada and other countries where COVID has been “relatively” less impactful than most U.S. states.


      1. Lisa Levine December 20, 2020 3:41 pm Reply

        My daughter is returning to Oahu on Jan4th from New Haven CT. What date does she need rest by? Is Yale, a CLIA lab, on the list of approved labs for travel? Thanks


    2. Jake October 20, 2020 2:22 am Reply

      Elaine, Hawaii is a joke. Yep, Mainland State Health tests for COVID…..one more time……STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT tests are not recognized getting off the plane in the STATE of Hawaii……for a virus with a 99.6% survivability.

      But of course, you know, it is fine to hit Walmart, CVS, or Walgreens. I’m sure the State is not getting any kickbacks for designating these companies as “official” testing sites. SMH.


    3. Robert Muth December 5, 2020 10:49 am Reply

      It has been a nightmare trying to schedule the NAAT test required by the state of Hawaii. The closet location is a Walgreens in Madison Wisconsin which has been impossible to contact or schedule with Walgreens. We wish to meet the requirements but the current set up is terrible!! It appears our trip will be cancelled.


    4. Andre pratt April 1, 2021 5:38 pm Reply

      Is the test at Walgreens free with health insurance card


    5. Leonard martinez July 27, 2021 3:50 pm Reply

      In Tulare County where can I get tested that compliance w safe travels program?


  2. kauaiboy October 10, 2020 7:21 am Reply

    More confusion.

    “No earlier than 72 hours before departure, travelers wishing to use the pre-test program should take a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified federal Certified Laboratory Improvement Amendments lab.”

    Then follows a lost of potential test options. Would any or all of these options suffice? Really? A mail-in spit test would suffice?

    What an opportunity for the media to be more transparent and offer more clarity than the government.

    But no, just another hodgepodge of information where we are left wondering…


    1. RPC October 10, 2020 5:01 pm Reply

      Indeed, the consensus appears to be that testing can only be done by a state of hawaii approved provider. I planned on having a test in my state at a state facility but I found out that won’t be acceptable.


  3. I saw a Vampire once October 10, 2020 11:43 pm Reply

    United Airlines and the other airlines, have all furloughed more than 32,000 workers including pilots. There will be no tourist coming to Kaua’i. HTA news.


  4. Kyle Holmes October 11, 2020 6:03 am Reply

    For every family member you have to get a $139 correctly certified test done by an authorized clinic “within 72 hours of travel”, but the test turn-around time is 48 hours. Good luck with that. Also, lots of reports of Hawaiin residents becoming even more hostile toward lighter skin visitors who look like “tourists”. Vacations are supposed to be for relaxation, which will not happen in high-stress Hawaii. Best to visit Caribbean and Yucatan for another year or two.


  5. Lisa Cossey October 11, 2020 5:42 pm Reply

    Hello,
    If I take the test on October 13 on the east coast time and arrive on October 16th Kauai time will I be over or more than 72 hours pre flight timing? I’m a bit confused and don’t want to make a mistake.


    1. Philip Heath October 27, 2020 2:15 am Reply

      I am dealing with the same issue. You can’t take the test more than 72 hours from the start of the last leg of your flight. I am flying from Chicago to San Fran then to Maui. My flight leaves at 11am Friday morning from SFO to Maui. That’s 2 pm in Michigan (where I live). So the earliest I can take my test is Tuesday at 2pm. Shortens my time to wait for the results. Its very stressful.


  6. marie Mercier October 15, 2020 5:52 am Reply

    Is there a way to avoid 14 days quarantine arriving directly from Vancouver ?
    can we be tested at Honolulu airport before going in our condo ?
    Canadian tests are not accepted in HI ?


  7. HawaiiBoundNP October 17, 2020 10:18 am Reply

    Are the rapid Covid tests from Walgreens approved to avoid quarantine? Or do they have to be the 72 hour results ones?
    If my flight from Denver leaves at 3pm MST, arrives in San Fran at 530pm PST AND in Kona at 930pm, what is the earliest I could have my testing completed?


    1. Philip Heath October 27, 2020 2:18 am Reply

      Your an hour a head of San Fran, correct? The earliest you can take the test is 3 days before you depart from San Fran.


  8. Janet Grueter October 19, 2020 6:01 am Reply

    Hello. Does anyone know of an approved partner that will provide a test to a 6 year old. So far Walgreens, CVS and Quest Diagnostics do not test under 12 or 18. The at home option with Vault Health only gives priority to Hawaii airlines and we are flying United.
    Any suggestions?


  9. Teresa M October 29, 2020 10:03 am Reply

    I need to pre-travel test to go to the big Island, however the Hawaii guidelines indicate that the test must now be a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Walgreens and CVS websites only say PCR test. Is the PCR test part of the nucleic acid test? I’m having a hard time determining whether CVS or Walgreens performs this NAAT test.


  10. Richard A Sweetser October 30, 2020 11:01 am Reply

    All very confusing & very difficult ,if not impossible !!!!!


  11. David Sheridan October 31, 2020 12:32 am Reply

    Does Walgreen offer NAAT testing for travel to Hawaii.


    1. Alex Maxwell March 2, 2021 5:30 am Reply

      Yes. PCR test is NAAT. The person at walgreens said the rapid diagnostic test is good for international travel as well


  12. Denise November 6, 2020 7:30 am Reply

    I am having a difficult time finding a Walgreens or CVS that does the free rapid testing for travel to Maui that is required within 72 hours of departure. I live in Minnesota and I leave nov 10 so I need to be tested on Sunday. They say I have to make an appointment on line and each time I check they say there are no appointments available. Is there a way I can get tested without having to pay? Cvs keeps connecting me to the Minute Clinic and they charge $139. I thought the testing was supposed to be free. This is very confusing and unfair. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated


  13. Greta Blash November 14, 2020 1:01 pm Reply

    Took the test at CVS within 71 hours but now td the results will take 3-5 days. So much for within 72 hour window
    Cancelation fees for the trip will cost us over $2000 each
    If a site or pharmacy is recommended specifically by Hawaii they should ensure that the results will ve received within the 72 hours


  14. tracey schulz November 21, 2020 7:09 am Reply

    I live in Minnesota and their are 14 or us to fly out to Hawaii on December 20 and with the corvid on the rise their is no way we could get the test back with in the 72 hours they are asking us too I have been calling around and they are from 3 to 5 days before we get them back who knows what it is going to be in three weeks if we cancel now we lose $8000. this was a dream vacation for us now my mother in law will probably never get to see Hawaii as she is 82. We cant take a chance to lose another 10,000 grand we will give it tell the December 1 to see if things change on guide lines in Hawaii.


  15. Ann December 8, 2020 7:37 pm Reply

    Hope this helps travelers to Hawaii, I’ve traveled to Las Vegas out of my home state Hawaii in Oct as well as Nov. Twice I was able to take the test at Walgreen using their rapid test site locate at 2427 Las Vegas Blvd. Not gona lie it was very stressful trying to get an appointment time to coordinate with the 72 hr prior to flight time (from last leg of flight). It was FREE at this site and it says results w/in 24 hrs, both times I received results via email in 30 mins, yes i did say w/in 30 mins. Example of the 72 hrs prior to flight time to time it right for testing, my flight was scheduled to return to Honolulu on a Monday at 3:35 pm, the earliest I could schedule an appointment was for the Friday prior to my Monday flight no sooner than 3:35pm. My advice to all travelers flying to Hawaii is fo your homework and read the Hawaii Safe Travels site. And you will be fine. Safe travels to ALL 🌼🌸


  16. P Hawk December 16, 2020 5:30 pm Reply

    Hey there. I’m traveling to the Big Island on 12/26, so am worried about testing turnaround time. The Vault test says travelers going on 12/26 shouldn’t count on their at home test being a reliable way to get results in 72 hours because of the Christmas interruption. Does a rapid test count if I’m able to get one for all 5 of us who are traveling-as long as it’s done through a Hawaii trusted partner?


  17. Christine Gaitan December 21, 2020 10:57 am Reply

    Make sure it’s the NAAT test and not rapid test antigen from cvs! They will not let you enter Maui unless it is this test! You will have to quarantine in specific hotels for 10 days and cannot leave your hotel room! Our friends had to fly back to Oakland and get the correct test and fly back to Maui! Nightmare!


  18. Sunshine December 29, 2020 4:58 am Reply

    This does pose a problem. One must confirm their NAAT results before investing a thousand dollars on a hotel and another thousand on your flight. You will be well beyond 72 hours before your results arrive. Thus, you will be playing cat and mouse. Either with taking a gamble on booking the flight before the tests to get the best deal. Or get your results and then book your flight for 72 hours max from that time frame.

    I think this is a nice way to keep people out of Hawaii. It keeps their community healthy and covid free. I also think the major befit goes to the airports. Since they lost a huge amount of money with this virus. They can charge an extreme amount of money for these tests. People will need to rely on the on-site test centers at the designated airports and airlines. If they miss their flight, then its cheaper to just book the next available flight. To the customer, you’ve wasted at least 5K just to get to Hawaii. To the airline and HAwaii. You now have someone who is willing to spend money.

    Once you get to Hawaii. The transportation shuttles to the hotel are closed. Thus, you will need a rental. They are now charging for parking fees seperately. Internet is also not included. Thus, you will need to budget extra for room service every day of your trip, parking fees, internet service, and then look to enjoy the other niceties that Hawaii has to offer.

    I think these are desperate times and economies thriving off of hospitality and tourism need to find a way to restore the deficit they acquired for a year. Don’t expect staff to be hospitible. They will have to charge you for the littlest of things. And redesign their rooms to remove microwaves. Dont take it personal. It’s business.

    Maybe budget and stay in Vegas or somewhere else until covid restrictions are lifted. Then go to Hawaii.


  19. Linda January 23, 2021 12:31 pm Reply

    Does Maui accept a PCR test?


  20. Alexis February 17, 2021 2:50 pm Reply

    Does Walgreen’s rapid diagnostic test count as the NAAT test? The PCR test doesn’t always come back within 72 hours.


    1. Rose February 23, 2021 5:55 am Reply

      Hi – I am also wondering the something similar: is the PCR == NAAT test? I’m based in NYC so I think I’m going to ask different Walgreens and CVS locations to make sure.


  21. Alex Maxwell March 2, 2021 5:34 am Reply

    Yes it does. If you call and ask they tell you it is good for travel


  22. Denise Abmont March 2, 2021 9:27 am Reply

    Please help, I live in the Boise area and can’t seem to find a “preferred” testing facility. Do you know who I can go to for the 72 hr test?


  23. Lori Robbins March 10, 2021 5:25 am Reply

    For those that have recently visited Hawaii can you tell me how closely the exact 72 hrs is enforced? Our plan is to get a test in Kona before flying to Lihue but the only time for the test is 71 hrs after we land (unless we end up landing sooner). This was the last test of the day. One person I talked to said as long as we are there 3 nights. Has anyone been tested at S and G in Kona? Just wondering how quickly the test results were returned.
    Thank you!


  24. Chris Smith March 10, 2021 11:45 am Reply

    we are flying into maui and will be there 6 days then flying into Kauai for 4 days… do we need a NAAT test before flying into maui and then get tested again in Maui to fly into Kauai? The NAAT test is so hard to find!


  25. Yvonne Lampi April 20, 2021 11:18 am Reply

    I am wondering if Mayo Clinic Phoenix AZ is considered approved by the Hawaiian state? Mayo Clinic provides the CLIA Lab they use Abbott Molecular I belive


  26. Rachael D May 21, 2021 7:33 pm Reply

    Hello Yvonne, no I don’t believe so. Check out https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel-partners/ for all of the test sites. You’ll want to find a Walgreens that does the NAAT (or also called “ID NOW”).


  27. Rachael D May 21, 2021 7:37 pm Reply

    Does anyone know why we have to pay $139?
    We only have to pay IF we say we’re going to Hawaii, otherwise it’s free. So if I just ask for the NAAT/ID NOW test, and do not share my travel plans, can we get it for free and have zero issues?

    Or, is the NAAT test specific to Hawaii and therefore just by asking for it, the site will know we must pay the $139?
    It just doesn’t add up that we go to a trusted site, ask for the right test, and can get it for free, but, if we say we are going to Hawaii, now the same test is $139. Will someone know that we didn’t pay for the Hawaii version of the test?

    thank you!!


  28. Lisa Briggs May 28, 2021 12:11 pm Reply

    Walgreens provides the prc and the rapid COVID 19 test. Are they the same as the NAAT test required for Hawaii?


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