My Point of Heu
The last time I went anywhere... was February 2020, a quick trip to Boston for the first time would be my last trip for 5 months. COVID-19 emerged and a global pandemic stunned the world. After inter-island travel opened back up again in June I was hesitant, but after an invitation to visit my home island of Kauai from Koloa Landing Resort, I jumped at the chance to enjoy a short getaway.
I am sure like many others you're wondering what it was like traveling in a post-COVID era. Here's what my experience was like.
Prior to departure
Booking and checking in is still the same, the state requires you fill out an inter-island travel form. (Please note this is for Hawaii residents only and if you are a visitor from out of state you are still required to quarantine for 14 days after arrival). The form can be found here: https://health.hawaii.gov/travel/
You can fill out the form online up to 24 hours prior to your departure, or fill out the paper and bring it with you prior to TSA. I printed it and brought it with us. Some have said doing it online is way easier and faster.
At the airport
Once at the airport, which is a ghost town and with just a few travelers in and around the terminals, you proceed to a hospitality desk prior to TSA. Present your ID, boarding pass and travel form. There they (National Guard) will first take your temperature, (hospitality workers) look everything over and confirm your information. If the form is filled out completely and you don't have a fever you can proceed to TSA.
Getting through TSA is a breeze since it's empty. If you are looking for something to eat and drink that may be a deadzone, as only Burger King and Starbucks were open, in Kauai nothing was open, not even a snack shop. I highly recommend bringing a bottle to fill with water and snacks/food.
Once at the gate it is encouraged to social distance. People were seated with a chair or 2 for separation and in clusters. No one is there to tell you what to do, but overall everyone was respectful and wearing their masks. I removed my mask to eat a sandwich and felt weird about it cause everyone else had their masks on the entire time.
The airline starts boarding and instructs people to board from the back of the plane to the front and only walk to the entrance of the gate once your row is called. This helps to keep everyone distanced and orderly. All the flight attendants had masks and gloves on and gave us a sanitizing wipe upon entry. Seating is spaced with a chair to separate you and those who booked together are seated together. The plane was full including the empty distancing seats.
Once you touchdown and taxi, the flight attendant made an announcement to remain seated until the row in front of you has started to exit the plane, but it was inaudible and you could barely hear it. Some people did the same old thing of jumping up and standing there anxious to get off. Most stayed seated and refrained from lining up. It's hit or miss with the social distancing on arrival if you wanna stay away from others just remain in your seat. If you're in an aisle like me, I moved to the middle seat so people standing in the aisle were not so close to me.
After disembarking there was a long line and no was distanced. This was the arrival screening line to confirm where you are from and where you are headed, you will need your boarding pass so they can confirm. In Lihue they gave us a placard to give to our rental car that said we were authorized to leave the airport. I caught the shuttle to the car rental, which had a limit of 6 passengers at one time and left the rest of our family at the airport so I could pick them up later. I highly recommend doing this as you will wait a while to get on a shuttle where everyone can get on, we were a party of 4 and there were similar sized parties waiting to get on the shuttle.
I proceeded to the car rental, gave them the placard, drove back to the terminal and picked up the crew.
Overall it was easy, no stress and felt safe.
My last reminders would be:
Have your form filled out ahead of time.
Bring a water bottle and snacks.
You have to wear your mask all the time and bring 2 in case you lose one.
Save your boarding pass.
Have only one person go get the rental car.
Have fun, be safe, don't touch anything and apply hand sanitizer or wash your hands often.
UPDATE: Effective 8/11/20 there is a 14 day quarantine in effect for all inter-island travel.