What to Expect When You’re in Hawaii During Covid-19

Posted in: Events, Things to Do

Update as of February 25, 2021. See below in bold italics under each island.

No matter where you’re coming from, you have been made aware of the common recommendations regarding the prevention of the spread of Covid-19. Hawaii is following the same coronavirus health protocols.

Each island or county has its own guidelines for visitors to follow and they all vary slightly. Here are the common rules to follow for any island:

Above all, please wear a mask at all times, adhere to physical distancing recommendations of 6 feet or more, avoid gathering in large groups, and practice exceptional hand hygiene. To learn more about the protocols you will be asked to adhere to while visiting Hawai‘i, please see the information presented below.

We thank you in advance for being mindful of putting public health first and following local guidelines.

Interacting With Others

Wearing A Mask

It’s recommended to wear a mask at all times in public places. This includes sidewalks, shopping, museums, attractions, parks and even on the beach.

Hotels and Accommodations

Please visit the website of your Hawai‘i accommodations for information about their property-specific safety protocols.

Parks and Beaches

What to expect when you're visiting Hawaii during Covid-19

Parks, beaches and trails are open for groups of no more than five people. Please practice physical distancing and always wear a mask or face covering. All county parks and beaches are open on all islands with some restrictions. Please refer to the island county websites for the most current information.

Select state parks and monuments statewide are open, though emphasizing social distancing. You will find a detailed listing of open and closed state parks at the Division of State Parks website.

National Park Service-managed parks, historic sites and memorials in Hawai‘i are gradually increasing access and services to their sites and facilities utilizing a phased approach. You will find a detailed listing of open and closed sites at the National Park Service’s Hawai‘i webpage.


All restaurants are allowed to open for takeout, pick-up and delivery service. Restaurants are also allowed to open for indoor dining at 50% capacity, with tables positioned 5-feet apart. Reservations are required for indoor dining and limited to parties of no more than five people per table. Masks must be worn at all times when dining indoors at restaurants, except when you are eating and/or drinking.


Retailers, bowling alleys and movie theaters are allowed to open at 50% capacity, with no more than five people per party.

Indoor activities

Museums, attractions and zoos are allowed to open at 50% capacity for indoor areas, with groups limited to no more than five people.

What are Island Restrictions for COVID?

Each Island has their own restrictions in place to help maintain safe travels for both visitors and locals. Below is a list of some permitted and restricted activities to keep in mind when visiting any of the Hawaiian islands.


Update as of February 25, 2021: Oahu is operating under Tier 3 protocols.


The City and County of Honolulu remains in Tier 2 until 11:59 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2021. At that time, the City will move into Tier 3 provided that the numbers for Tier 3 are met on February 24. Oahu moves to Tier 3.  Retailers are able to operate at full capacity.  In addition to the requirements below, this, and all other designated businesses and operations, must comply with the requirements listed at  

Each retail and service business must comply with conditions on page 1 of Exhibit A which apply to all Designated Businesses and Operations. Fitting rooms (as applicable) may be open, but precautions must be taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including frequent sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces, quarantining tried on merchandise for at least 24 hours, and ensuring appropriate physical distancing can be maintained in the fitting room area.

To learn more about Tier3, please visit

Update as of January 27, 2021: Oahu is still operating under Tier 2 protocols.

The island of Oahu (Honolulu County) is moving to Tier 2 of a four-tier system on Thursday, October 23rd  outlined in a Mayor’s Emergency Proclomation on the website. 

Tier 2 means that:

  • Helicopter tours can reopen at 50% capacity.

  • Legal short-term rentals may open.

  • Restaurants can accommodate groups of five regardless of whether they are from the same household.

  • Other commercial activities can open at 50% capacity with groups to be no more than five.

  • There are no luaus in operation at this time.

  • Buses only for “essential” travel. Open air trolleys are allowed.

  • Golf courses are open with guidelines.


Update as of January 27, 2021: Maui, due to recent increases in coronavirus cases, changed their capacity limits in all areas where groups congregate- activities, dining, and shopping- from 50% to 30%.

Regulations in place as of October 22nd, 2020:

  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, running, ocean sports (surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, or fishing) is permitted.

  • Indoor or outdoor social gatherings of up to 10 persons are permitted. Face coverings are required and physical distancing of at least 6 feet between separate social gatherings must be maintained.

  • Nightclubs and concert halls are ordered closed until notified otherwise.

  • No tents or beach umbrellas that measure more than six feet across the canopy, party bouncers (bouncing castles, etc.), water or other slides will be allowed at any beaches or County parks. Grills may not be used at any beach or County park. Persons at any park must comply with island-wide rules regarding face masks and social distancing.

  • Golf courses, provided they follow restrictions/guidance by the PGA. 

  • Musical performances: No more than 10 musicians on stage, six-foot distance between musicians, and a minimum of ten feet between the stage and audience. No dance floor or other area where audience members may congregate shall be allowed. Seating should follow restaurant guidelines, or for stadium type seating.

  • Commercial and recreational boating will be allowed, subject to all County or State regulations, including any specific operational restrictions imposed by the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the following conditions: 

    • Larger boats with a Coast Guard-rated capacity of more than 10, may allow not more than 50% of the rated capacity individuals allowed on the boat, including the boat crew. 

  • Commercial event operators. Under the supervision of professional event planners or venues, commercial events (such as luau or weddings) may be conducted with the following restrictions: 

    • Outdoor venues only. 

    • Maximum 100 persons, including staff. 

    • Table seating required. Maximum of 10 persons per table. Each table should be reserved for members of the same household only (no intermixing of parties). 

Big Island (Hawaii County)

Update as of January 27, 2021: No reported changes.

  • Hawaii restaurants are allowed to open for takeoutpick-up, and delivery service only. Hawaii restaurants are also allowed to open for indoor dining at 50% capacity, with tables positioned 5-feet apart. Reservations are required for indoor dining and limited to parties of no more than five (5) people per table. Masks must be worn at all times when dining indoors at restaurants, except when you are actively eating and/or drinking.

  • Indoor or outdoor social gatherings of groups up to 10 people are permitted. Face masks in public spaces are required, and physical distancing of at least six feet between separate groups must be maintained. Members of a single residential or family unit who share the same address are not restricted by the 10 person limit.

  • Under Emergency Rule 12, all county and state beach parks on the Big Island are open. All Beach and coastal parks had been previously closed through the end of September 2020.

  • All businesses, operations, and activities are permitted to remain open except nightclubs, large indoor/outdoor venues, and (road) races (via Exhibit 5, from Emergency Rule 12).


Updated January 28, 2021. Kauai COVID-19 webpage:

Update as of January 27, 2021: Kauai instituted a 10-day quarantine on or around December 3, 2020 due to an increase in coronavirus cases and due to the fact that there are only nine ICU hospital beds on the island. As of January 5, 2021, Kauai updated their laws regarding resort “bubbles”, where visitors are free to roam the resort grounds with a negative Covid-19 test for three days. If visitors provide a second negative test post-arrival after three days they are released from quarantine. For details, refer to the website link below.

Beginning October 15th, Kauai visitors will arrive on the island with it at a Tier 4 status, which effectively means there are zero virus cases in the county of Kauai. As long as Kauai remains on Tier 4 or even Tier 3 status, which is the equivalent to a weekly average of under five (5) active cases, visitors can continue to enjoy the island without additional quarantine restrictions.

Kauai is the most restrictive of all the islands in their active case count average as it has a very limited number of ICU hospital beds.

  • Under Emergency Rule 12, short term rentals, transient vacation rentals, and homestay operations may reopen. No person that is subject to the mandatory self-quarantine is allowed to stay in these operations unless they are the owner of the property.

  • Under Emergency Rule 13, indoor gatherings of groups of up to 10 persons are permitted and outdoor gatherings of groups of up to 25 persons are permitted. All gatherings are also subject to requirements to maintain physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and complying with other requirements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For details please reference these websites. The situation on all islands is fluid:

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