Gov. David Ige on Monday announced he will delay the launch of the pre-travel testing program for incoming travelers to Hawai‘i. The program is now scheduled to begin on Sept. 1, 2020. This means all travelers entering the State of Hawai‘i will be subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine until Sept. 1st, when the pre-travel testing program is scheduled to begin. This is a story that continues to change virtually week-by-week.
The governor made this decision in collaboration with Hawai‘i’s four county mayors. Several factors contributed to the decision to delay the pre-travel testing program. They include:
- The continental U.S. (mainland) is seeing large, uncontrolled outbreaks in some of Hawai‘i’s main visitor markets, including California. Many of these communities are increasing restrictions and rolling back reopening plans.
- Hawai‘i is seeing an increase in cases.
- The outbreaks on the mainland are affecting Hawai‘i’s testing supply, including an interruption in our supply chain from the mainland.
- Hawai‘i anticipates an uptick in cases when schools re-open in August.
“This was an extremely difficult decision to make. This delay will further hurt our economy, but as I’ve always said – we will make decisions based on the best available science and facts prioritizing the health and safety of Hawai‘i residents. Our county mayors and I agree, this delay is essential to protect our community,” said Gov. Ige.
Testing Requirements For Visitors To Hawaii
I have listed the exact testing requirements that the State of Hawaii will require to avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine. In reviewing the testing requirements, this could be problematic because the test is being done no longer than 72 hours before arrival and how fast testing labs can return testing results. This will vary from where visitors live and the availability of testing with timely results. Be sure to bring a copy of your test results with you. The testing requirements list below was the protocol announced by the State of Hawaii on July 13, 2020.
Pre-Travel Testing Progress Update
Governor Ige also said that the state still believes the pre-travel testing program will help Hawai‘i stay safe. He announced that progress on the program is being made and more details will be in place by Sept. 1. Reiterating the outline of the program:
- Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab
- Travelers exempt for mandatory 14-day quarantine if testing negative no more than 72 hours in advance of travel
- If results are not available by the time of arrival, quarantine necessary until test results received
- All travelers of all ages subject to pre-test requirement
- Individuals responsible for testing costs
- No commercial testing provided at Hawai‘i airports
The governor says the pre-test is one part of a multi-layered screening process which includes arrival temperature checks, completion of the State Travel and Health form, and secondary screening for those with symptoms or temperatures of 100.4 degrees or higher.
The reopening of Hawaii to visitors is a constant on-again, off-again situation that continues to change. Just two weeks ago, I wrote that Hawaii was to reopen to visitors on August 1st. Hopefully, September 1st will see visitors once again going to Hawaii. Travel Codex will continue to monitor the situation in Hawaii and will update this story with any news.