Understandably, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about moving to Hawaii in the middle of the global pandemic and its accompanying stay-at-home orders.

As a transportation and logistics company, Royal Hawaiian Movers is considered an essential business. As such, we have remained operational during these stay-at-home / work-from-home orders. In addition to giving you regular COVID-19 updates on our operations, we also wanted to give you a run-down on what it’s like to move to Hawaii right now to answer some of the common queries we’ve received.

We’re Moving Forward with Household Moves

Currently, we are continuing household moves for individuals and families to all four major islands: Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Whether you’re moving between islands or from a destination outside the state, all individuals are subject to a 14-day mandatory self-quarantine. (You’ll find more information on this mandate below!)

Safety for our customers, the public and our employees our top priority during these moves. We continue to adjust our processes and procedures to protect the health of everyone involved. If you or anyone in your house has felt ill, recently traveled, been in contact with someone that has the COVID-19 virus or been under any type of quarantine, please let us know. We’ll work with you to modify your moving arrangements as appropriate.

If you have any concerns about moving during this time, reach out to one of our team members. We’ll be happy to talk through our procedures with you.

Freight Shipments Continuing as Normal

Royal Hawaiian Movers and our sister company, Approved Freight Forwarders, will continue to operate as essential businesses that provide freight shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services to the people of Hawaii.

Additionally, all three major commercial ocean freight operators to Hawaii—Matson, Pasha and Young Brothers—have committed to continuing their normal schedules to keep supply lines moving as usual.

If you are receiving freight deliveries or picking up will-call freight, Approved and Royal Hawaiian have implemented new procedures that follow social distancing guidelines. Your continued health and safety—as well as that of our team members—is paramount to us as we continue to help Hawaii’s supply chains continue to run smoothly.

Finding Supplies on Island

We’ve gotten a number of questions from people concerned that Hawaii’s isolated position in the Pacific could made it difficult for residents to purchase necessities.

Since freight shipments are operating as normal, Hawaii is receiving regular deliveries of essential supplies, including grocery items.

As Lauren Zirbel of the Hawaii Food Industry Association recently told the House of Representative’s Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness Committee: “We do not currently have a supply chain issue for basic food supplies and we do not anticipate there being a supply chain issue.”

That being said, many retailers in Hawaii are putting in place quantity restrictions on high-demand items. These rules mirror those you may see on the Mainland. For example, you may only be able to purchase one package of toilet paper at a time in order to make sure supplies are more readily available to all island residents.

Additionally, retailers including Target, Foodland, Times Supermarkets, Tamura’s, Whole Foods and Costco have instituted kupuna hours, usually within the first hour or two of opening. This restricted shopping window allows seniors 60+ to purchase their supplies in a low-traffic environment. Seniors may be accompanied by a caregiver or family member for assistance. Kupuna hours vary by location, so check your store’s social media account or website for details.

14-Day Mandatory Quarantine for All Arrivals

Currently, the majority of Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases have been linked to travel. In order to mitigate the spread of the virus in the state, Governor David Ige has put a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine in place.

As of publication of this article, all individuals, residents and visitors, regardless of their origin point, are required to undergo the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine when they arrive in Hawaii. This also includes those on private flights, as well as interisland travelers (from Kauai to Oahu, for example).

Under Governor Ige’s proclamation, arriving individuals must:

  • Proceed directly from the airport to your designated quarantine location, which is the location identified and affirmed by you on the mandatory State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture Plants and Animals Declaration Form.
  • Remain in your designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of your stay in the State of Hawai‘i, whichever is shorter.
    • If you are a resident, your designated quarantine location is your place of residence.
    • If you are a visitor, your designated quarantine location is your hotel room or rented lodging.
    • You can only leave your designated quarantine location for medical emergencies or to seek medical care.
  • Do not visit any public spaces, including but not limited to pools, meeting rooms, fitness centers or restaurants.
  • Do not allow visitors in or out of your designated quarantine location other than a physician, healthcare provider or individual authorized to enter the designated quarantine location by the Director of HIEMA.
  • Comply with any and all rules or protocols related to your quarantine as set forth by your hotel or rented lodging.
  • If you become ill with a fever or cough:
    • Continue to stay in designated quarantine location, avoid contact with others and contact a healthcare provider for further instructions on treatment or testing.
    • If you are older or have any medical conditions (e.g., immune compromise, diabetes, asthma), consult your regular healthcare provider.
    • If you feel you need medical care, contact healthcare provider and inform them of your travel history.
    • If you need urgent medical care (e.g., have difficulty breathing), call 9-1-1 and let the dispatcher know your travel history).

The state is taking violations seriously. In addition to a maximum fine of $5,000, violators may also be subject to imprisonment.

For full details, read Governor Ige’s official press release on the self-quarantine guidelines.

Short-Term Rental Status

Given that the global pandemic has affected the timeline for many services—including airline flights—we know many of our customers may need a short-term solution if their intended housing isn’t ready.

The governor’s third emergency proclamation classified hotels and motels as essential businesses. However, that proclamation doesn’t include bed and breakfasts, short-term rentals, and timeshares.

We’re seeing differing responses to these types of rentals on an island-by-island basis. Some Hawaii officials and residents are concerned that visitors may intend to use the island for a “coronavirus vacation.” In response, two mayors have issued shut-down orders for short-term rentals:

  • Big Island: Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has ordered that all vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and timeshares shut down and stop advertising.
  • Kauai: Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami ordered all transient vacation rentals and home-stays to shut down through May.

If you find yourself in need of temporary housing for you or your family until you can move into your new home, your safest bet will be a hotel or a motel, which has specifically been identified by the governor as essential.

If you’ve secured a different type of short-term lodging for your family, make sure you do your due diligence to ensure its availability when you arrive. This is especially important since the self-quarantine order means you must head straight for your intended lodging upon arrival in the state.

And, of course, if you find yourself in need of short-term storage for any of your belongings, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We’d be happy to help you find a solution.

Questions? We’re Here for You

If you’re considering a move to Hawaii or an interisland move, our teams are ready to assist. Reach out to us anytime with questions or concerns. We’re happy to address them! We can also assist with a complimentary quote for your move. When you and your family are ready, we’d love to help you make a safe, easy and simple transition to your new home.