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Hawaii Layovers – Can I Swim in the Ocean?

Date: April 20, 2021

There has been a lot of confusion about what protocol to follow when on a Hawaii layover.  Hawaii has strict and ever-changing COVID mitigation procedures, and the procedures are different for each Hawaiian island.  In addition, Flight Attendants have been given conflicting instructions from ground personnel about what is and is not permitted while on a layover in Hawaii.  Some are told they must eat in their rooms.  Others have been told eating in the lobby is acceptable and there is even confusion about what activities are allowed outdoors: Can I swim in the ocean or not?

Let us clear up the confusion.  To prevent the spread of COVID19, Hawaii instituted a 10-day quarantine upon arrival in the islands.  However, it is possible to by-pass this quarantine requirement with a pre-arrival negative COVID test and by following additional compliance procedures (read more).

In addition, Hawaii tweaked the quarantine requirement for working crew members to allow them slightly more freedom within the quarantine regulations than regular guests.  Determining which regulations an individual Flight Attendant must follow when entering Hawaii is essential.

Do we follow working crew member guidelines or guidelines applicable to guests (tourists) in Hawaii? 

The good news is that it IS possible for a Flight Attendant to be treated as both a working crew member AND a guest in Hawaii. 

To be able to follow the “guest” (tourist) regulations and by-pass all quarantine restrictions, a Flight Attendant must get a pre-arrival COVID test at their own expense and follow the other required procedures, as with any other guest arriving in Hawaii.  If a Flight Attendant does not wish to submit to, and self-finance, a pre-arrival COVID test, then that Flight Attendant is expected to abide by the crew member quarantine guidelines.  Hawaii has also offered slightly different regulations for working crew members who reside in Hawaii.

Flight Attendants can find complete information about COVID mitigation regulations in Hawaii here.  This resource provides information about quarantine information, COVID testing requirements, and other details for the specific locations listed.  Please be sure and reference this list before making any layover plans for Hawaii.

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