Yesterday, I wrote about Hawaii’s plans to reopen to visitors and residents without the mandatory 14-day quarantine period. This is welcome news for those that want to visit the islands and the reopening will happen during the summer travel season. I had some questions about the Governor’s press release so I contacted the Governor’s Communications Director for answers. This post will answer common questions about the reopening. Please keep in mind that Covid-19 is a fluid situation and that the reopening phase can be subject to change.
What Is Hawaii’s Plan For Reopening?
The State of Hawaii has established a plan based on impact levels. There are five levels of impact and Hawaii is currently in level 3 – Act With Care (minor disruption).
When Does The Mandatory 14-day Quarantine Requirement End?
This requirement ended last week for inter-island travel. For those coming to Hawaii from elsewhere, this requirement ends July 30, 2020, if you meet the guidelines to avoid the quarantine. The quarantine requirement applies to both Hawaii residents and non-residents. If you do not meet the conditions for exemption, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days. You will have to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test upon arrival. Covid-19 is a fluid situation and the reopening date could change based on changing conditions.
What Can I Expect Upon Arrival In Hawaii?
Out-of-state travelers arriving in Hawai‘i must get a PCR test prior to arrival from any testing location approved by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. Evidence of a negative test result must be provided upon arrival in Hawai‘i.
Temperature checks will continue at airports across the state. Anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees or who is experiencing other symptoms will be required to undergo a secondary screening at the airport with trained healthcare staff.
Travelers will be required to fill out the State Travel and Health form.
There will be no testing conducted at airports.
Where Can I Get A Covid-19 Test That Hawaii Will Accept?
The Health Department is still in the process of developing this program but anticipates requiring an FDA-approved PCR test from a CLIA certified laboratory. Travelers will be required to provide printed or emailed pre-test certification as evidence of a negative test result. Travelers will be responsible for the cost of the pre-travel test.
This program is still under development by the State Health Department. I have requested that the State Health Department send me an update so I can answer this question in detail.
Who Is Exempt From the 14-Day Quarantine Requirement?
The exemption applies to all visitors to Hawaii both foreign and domestic as long as they meet the exemption requirements.
Will Face Coverings Be Required?
Yes. Exhibit “C” of NINTH SUPPLEMENTARY PROCLAMATION RELATED TO THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY states:
Safe Practices All persons are encouraged to wear a cloth face covering as described and recommended by the CDC, which guidance is attached hereto as Exhibit C. This section shall not apply to persons who are engaged in permissible outdoor exercise activities so long as physical distancing requirements are maintained. All businesses or operations operating in accordance with this Proclamation, including state and county agencies, shall comply with the applicable CDC, industry and regulatory guidance for COVID-19.
Will there be penalties for failure to wear a face-covering? This was not mentioned and I suspect that it may be under consideration by the State Health Department.
Where Can I Go To Find The Latest Hawaii Information?
Your best source for current information is the Governor’s Newsroom webpage. You can find it here.
Governor Ige has relaxed the conditions. It is up to visitors to follow the conditions to the letter. The last thing that Hawaii needs is to reverse course because visitors to the islands can’t or won’t meet the conditions. The Health Department in Hawaii is still working on the testing requirements. I will update that information when it is available.
As we have seen during the pandemic, the situation remains fluid and could change at any time. Travel Codex will continue to monitor the tourism status in Hawaii.