Governor Ige held a news briefing today to discuss additional details of the pre-travel testing program, which is set to launch Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. All counties will be participating in the pre-travel testing program, which allows travelers to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine, though there will be different rules in different counties:
- Kauaʻi County has established a voluntary testing program the third day after arrival.
- Maui County has established a voluntary post-arrival test.
- Hawaiʻi Island will require an antigen test for all arriving transpacific travelers who are participating in the pre-travel testing program.
- The City and County of Honolulu is exploring its capacity for post-arrival testing.
Gov. Ige highlighted the importance of the pre-travel testing program, saying “We’re looking forward to launching pre-travel testing on Thursday, because it’s a reflection of the progress we’ve made in managing the pandemic to the point where we can begin taking greater steps to reviving our economy and strengthening our community.” The pre-travel testing for transpacific travel program includes:
- Beginning October 15, those who do not want to be subject to the state’s 14-day mandatory travelers quarantine must take an approved COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure from the final leg of travel. (Children under the age of five will not be required to take a test.)
- The test must be done through one of the 17 trusted testing partners (listed here).
- Negative test results may be uploaded on the Safe Travels Digital Platform, and all travelers must also complete the state’s mandatory travel and health form on this digital platform. (Travelers are encouraged to do this step 24 hours prior to arrival in Hawai‘i. Airport screeners will review information upon arrival and conduct temperature screenings.)
If a traveler’s COVID-19 test comes back negative, they will be exempt from quarantine. If the results haven’t come in yet, the traveler will be required to quarantine at their place of lodging until results come back. If the result comes back positive for COVID-19, the traveler and close contacts will be mandated to isolation for 14 days. Gov. Ige also announced that Kauaʻi and Maui will be participating in the pre-travel testing program for inter-island travel.
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) President and CEO John De Fries, who was also at the briefing, added, “The people in the hospitality industry are excited that the state has progressed to this point. We want to get back to work not just because everyone needs a paycheck but also because we get great satisfaction from welcoming people to the islands. We also know how important we are to the state. The dollars each visitor brings in ultimately translates into the education of our youngsters, care for the elderly, police, firemen, parks and much more. We need to get back to work, so that Hawai‘i keeps working for all of us.” De Fries also addressed issues of safety among hospitality employees, saying, “The concerns of the workers informed every key decision made and will continue to be heard. Their health and safety are a priority.”