Kauai News

S. Korea Added to Hawai‘i’s Safe Travels Program

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South Korea will soon be included Hawai‘i’s Safe Travels program.

Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that starting Friday, Feb. 5, travelers from Korea may bypass the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine if they take a COVID-19 test from a trusted testing partner in that country. The test must be taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to departure and the test result must be negative.

In addition to the state’s program, effective Jan. 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of having recovered from the virus for all air passengers arriving from a foreign country to the United States.

For international travelers coming to Hawaiʻi, only tests from Trusted Testing Partners will be accepted for purposes of bypassing the state’s 10-day traveler quarantine.


On Jan. 21, the President of the United States issued an executive order requiring, among other things, that masks must be worn at airports and on airplanes. The federal government is also contemplating additional measures relating to periods of self-quarantine or self-isolation and/or testing after entry into the United States. For the time being, the state is making no changes to the Safe Travels program.

“The pre-travel testing program is just one layer of the state’s comprehensive Safe Travels Hawai‘i program, which has served us well in protecting our residents and visitors. We are excited to safely welcome back travelers from Korea,” the governor said.

The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Honolulu welcomed the launch of this program, saying that it will contribute to expanding people-to-people exchanges between Korea and Hawaiʻi while taking necessary safety measures.


The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health has approved the use of the COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test conducted by a laboratory authorized by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency for the pre-travel test. The following four trusted testing partners in Korea have been approved as of today:

“We continue to inform visitors before and after they arrive in the Hawaiian Islands to make them more mindful and aware about their responsibility to keep themselves and our residents safe,” said John De Fries, President and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “HTA will work with Hawai‘i Tourism Korea to expand collaboration with airlines, and will also work with Korea’s leading industry and brand partners to develop sustainable travel themes to Hawai‘i that comply with our State’s travel policies and guidelines.”

Korean nationals traveling abroad are still subject to a 14-day quarantine upon their return to the country. Travel restrictions on US travel to Korea remain in place.


For more information visit https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/ and https://www.gohawaii.com/kr/special-alerts-information-korean.


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