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Traveling to Hawaii from Kenya (or Anywhere Else Outside the U.S.)

Traveling to Hawaii from Kenya (or Anywhere Else Outside the U.S.)

Old Jun 4th, 2021, 01:44 PM
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Traveling to Hawaii from Kenya (or Anywhere Else Outside the U.S.)

DH and I are scheduled for a 2-week Safari in Kenya beginning September 2, 2021. We were scheduled for September 2020, but that was rescheduled for obvious reasons. From what I am reading, getting into Kenya with a negative COVID test should not be a problem. We are both fully vaccinated.

We live on Kauai. As it now stands, to circumvent a 10-day quarantine, anyone entering Hawaii is required to produce an approved negative NAAT COVID test result “from a trusted partner.” I have read several articles stating that all you need to do to visit Hawaii is to show up with a QR code that shows your negative test result from a trusted partner. Indeed, DH traveled to the mainland and returned last week with the required test and QR code. No problem.

What these articles fail to mention is that there are NO trusted partners outside the U.S. other than in Canada, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

The other option is to arrive in Hawaii with a negative test that is not the NAAT COVID test “from a trusted partner,” quarantine for 72 hours in an expensive resort bubble, followed by a negative test. (If you arrive with no test you must do the full 10-day quarantine.)

I do not want to quarantine 10-days when I return home (vaccinated) to Hawaii, nor do I want to incur the costs of an expensive resort bubble (at least $1,000 – possibly more than $1500 -- plus the costs of two COVID tests). But it’s not just the money. When I return after being gone more than two weeks, I will have responsibilities that will need to be dealt with.

We used AAdvantage miles to book first class/business class flights. Those flights are no longer available with FF miles. But if I can change my reservation so that we end at LAX, I’m thinking we could get a test from a trusted partner, stay a day in L.A. while I wait for results, then buy tix back to Kauai (LIH). But I’m concerned that last-minute flights will cost a fortune.

So … I am sadly considering rescheduling – again—until they allow vaccinated people to return to Hawaii, or accept additional tests. Compared to the problems other people are facing this is not exactly a big deal. But it would be disappointing. Any thoughts?

Any suggestions about a different good time of year for Kenya – and times to avoid?

Thank you!
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Old Jun 5th, 2021, 08:50 PM
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Couldn’t you get the test at LAX? I know that SFO provides traveler tests with a rapid result. The cost is $150-$200 I think. I have not done this but I have a few friends who have. I think you need to reserve a test time in advance as well. It’s expensive, but certainly cheaper than a required stay in a resort.
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Old Jun 6th, 2021, 09:32 AM
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ellenbw: IF the flight from DOH to LAX is on time, I would have 2-1/2 hours to clear customs, get to the testing site; get a result; and board the flight. I don't think I can count on that being enough time.

I am taking a "wait and see" stance. If things don't change to allow vaccinated international travelers to bypass the quarantine I plan to contact AA and ask if they would rebook me onto a flight the next morning, so I would have enough time to get tested.
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Old Jun 6th, 2021, 10:00 AM
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Keep an eye on things in Kenya, SongDoc. They're currently seeing another spike in infections due to large protests/gatherings over political situations where next to no one was masked. My friends on the ground think that the area around Nairobi may get shut down again, just like what we posted a month or so ago. I'd hate to see you inconvenienced by that. I think this is going to be a common occurrence until they get more serious about social distancing and mask usage, in addition to vaccines.

If you are thinking about rescheduling, 4 of my 5 safaris have been in February in East Africa, and I love that time of year there. It's not crazy busy in Kenya like it gets during the migration season and it's warm and not humid. It used to be dry season, but now with climate change, any time is a crapshoot when it comes to rain. I've also gone the first week in November and managed to avoid rain entirely, but that's the exception and not the norm.
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Old Jun 6th, 2021, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
ellenbw: IF the flight from DOH to LAX is on time, I would have 2-1/2 hours to clear customs, get to the testing site; get a result; and board the flight. I don't think I can count on that being enough time.

I am taking a "wait and see" stance. If things don't change to allow vaccinated international travelers to bypass the quarantine I plan to contact AA and ask if they would rebook me onto a flight the next morning, so I would have enough time to get tested.
oh yes 2.5 hours is too little time for that. Your idea of staying a day is a good one.
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Old Jun 6th, 2021, 05:03 PM
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amyb: Thanks for that info. That is sad news. As much as I would love to have things settled it looks like I have no choice but to wait and see.
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