Traveling to Hawai‘i: State’s Safe Travels Program and the University Student Travel Exemption Program

State's Safe Travels Program

The State of Hawai’i’s “Safe Travels Pre-Test” program begins, and we expect it to continue into the new calendar year. Here are a few important things you need to know:

  • The State of Hawai‘i pre-travel testing program replaces the University Student Travel Exemption program. If you qualify under this new option, you may avoid the 10-day long quarantine upon arrival to the state.  
  • As an alternative to quarantine, travelers from the continental U.S. to Oahu’s Inouye International Airport must produce evidence of a negative FDA-approved NAAT COVID-19 test processed by a CLIA-certified laboratory within 72 hours of the final leg of the trip to Honolulu. If you have a multi-city itinerary, this means the last city before arriving in Honolulu. 
    • An antibody or antigen test will NOT be accepted. If you take the wrong test, you will be required to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.
  • Not all COVID-19 tests are accepted, so please review the State of Hawai‘i’s “Trusted Testing and Travel Partners” to see what option is best for you. Travelers should access testing only through these testing vendors approved by the state: posted at the Travel FAQs pageTrusted Testing and Travel Partners include, among others, CVS Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Walgreens. Some airlines, including Hawaiian and United, are providing pre-travel testing options; please inquire directly with your airline on the status of pre-travel testing programs. 
  • Travelers who successfully complete a pre-travel test will not be subject to the state’s 10-day quarantine program. Beginning Nov. 24, persons who, prior to departure to the State, must upload into the State’s Safe Travels program or otherwise provide written hard copy confirmation from a Department of Health approved COVID-19 testing facility (“Trusted Testing Partner”) of a negative test result from an observed test administered to the traveler within 72 hours from the final leg of departure in order to avoid the 10-day quarantine.  For more information, click here:
  • All travelers will also be required to have their temperature checked and complete a health and travel questionnaire. 
  • ATM and HLC residents will be sent additional information regarding spring 2021 semester check-in. Contact if you have questions.
  • International students should visit the Travel FAQs page regularly to get updates on approved COVID tests outside of the United States. 


University Student Travel Exemption Program

  • Review the requirements and guidelines of the University Student Travel Exemption Program 
    • This option allows you to be partially exempt from the State’s mandatory 10-day quarantine in order to participate in University-sponsored activities only. Under the modified quarantine, you can participate in University-sponsored activities, such as athletics, class, student activities, dining, and housing programs. You may not go to local businesses, the beach or parks, or anywhere outside of the University “bubble.”
    • Only FDA-approved NAAT tests, processed by a CLIA-certified laboratory will qualify. An antibody or antigen test will NOT be accepted. If you take the wrong test and/or miss the 48 hours window to take a post-travel COVID test upon arrival, you will be required to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.
    • You must be tested no more than 72 hours prior to departing for Hawai‘i OR no more than 48 hours after arriving to Honolulu.
    • If you do not meet the requirements above, you will quarantine for 10 days.
      • If student exhibits any symptoms during the 10-day modified quarantine period, student will self-quarantine for the entirety of the 10-day period. 
      • Following a positive diagnosis, the student will be permitted to enter campus upon clearance from the Hawaii Department of Health.  Contact your health insurance provider about insurance coverage for COVID-19 tests. 
    • There are two types of letters that students will need to carry with them outside of their residence to confirm their participation in the University Student Travel Exemption Program: 
      • University Exemption Approval Letter: Student has submitted proof of a negative COIVD-19 State-approved test to HPU 
        • Exemption Approval (pre-travel test, negative result before departure)  
        • Exemption Approval (pre-travel test, negative result after arrival) 
        • Exemption Approval (post-travel test, negative result after arrival) 
      • University Exemption Participation Letter (an Approval Letter will be sent once HPU receives proof of a negative COVID-19 test result):  
        • Exemption Participation (pre-travel test, test pending upon arrival)  
        • Exemption Participation (post-travel test planned but not yet confirmed) 
  • This option is available for spring semester after January 1, 2021. We recommend students arrive in Honolulu between January 4-10, 2021. 
  • If you are not sure whether you will meet the State’s Safe Travels Program requirements, we highly suggest you pursue the University Student Exemption Program so that you have a back-up plan. This way, you can receive a participation letter prior to your departure for Honolulu in the event your pre-travel test is not approved by the State during the airport screen process.
  • To be eligible for the University Student Travel Exemption Program, you must complete the following steps:
    1. Submit the Student Attestation Form to participate in the program
      • Students who traveled out-of-state for Winter break must submit the Attestation Form by December 31, 2020. This is to ensure you receive your participation letter prior to your January departure. If you miss this deadline, contact the Dean of Students at
      • Once HPU receives the Attestation Form, HPU will issue via email a participation letter.

    2. Upload test results to the Results Form. HPU must review and approve results before issuing an approval letter, which confirms your participation in the University Student Travel Exemption Program.
      • The proof of a negative test is a lab test record from a laboratory service. Such a record would include the laboratory’s name and address; referring physician/clinic; patient name; type of SARS-COV-2 test; and the result. This is accessible in your online medical record and may have been sent to you as a paper notification. Online links or text messages that display just the test result will not be accepted.  


If you test positive for COVID-10 OR show any symptoms during your 10-days upon arrival:

Symptoms of COVID-19: Cough, chills, fever, muscle pain, shortness of breath, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. Symptoms can range from mild to severe illness, and appear 2-10 days after you are exposed to the COVID-19 virus.   

  1. Contact a medical provider via phone (if an emergency, call 9-1-1)
  2. Notify HPU's Director of Security and Safety, Sam Tong, 808-236-3597,
  3. Quarantine for 10 days and receive further instructions from the Director of Security and Security.  

COVID-19 Post-Travel Testing Locations

  • Off-Campus (Oahu) Testing Options
        • Mobile Testing Lab at the Airport - Honolulu
        • Free testing partnerships are posted
      • Other Private Clinics Located Near the HPU Downtown Campus
        • Straub Medical Center – Honolulu
        • Queen’s Island Urgent Care - Kakaako
      • Other Private Clinics Located Near the Hawaii Loa Campus
        • Adventist Health Castle - Kailua

Hawaiian Airlines

Our friends at Hawaiian Airlines have also extended their Travel Assistance Program for college students and their families, which offers you a 5% discount on transpacific flights, two free checked bags, and a flexible booking policy on all flights. To learn more about the program, visit MyHPU -> Student Services -> More.

Airport Transportation

Reach out to VIP Trans to book a shuttle at a discounted rate by calling 866-836-0317; mention the discount code HPU-01. Be sure to arrange this in advance or plan on securing a taxi, Lyft, or Uber to campus upon arrival.  

Food and Other Essential Delivery Services

Arrange for a friend or relative to drop off essentials or make use of contactless delivery service. A list of delivery services operating in Hawai‘i can be found here

Questions about the University Student Travel Exemption Program

Contact the Dean of Students at