Hawaii Will Accept Negative Covid Tests From 15 October

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Hawaii Governor David Ige yesterday announced a measure that sure to be music to the ears of the Hawaii hospitality industry as well as to thousands of people who have been waiting for a sign that they can, once again, visit the Aloha State. From 15 October, visitors to the islands will be allowed to skip quarantine if they can produce a negative Covid test.

How To Avoid Quarantine In Hawaii

As things stand, everyone traveling to Hawaii (residents and visitors alike) must self-quarantine for 14 days as soon as they reach the islands. From 15 October, however, the state will finally launch its “pre-travel testing program” (it was originally expected to start at the beginning of August) which will allow arrivals to the islands to avoid quarantine once they provide a negative Covid-19 test that has been taken no earlier than 72-hours before their flight arrives. Specifically, the test has to be an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) that has been performed by a CLIA certified laboratory.

Upon arrival into the islands, travelers will also have their temperatures taken and will be required to submit a travel and health form. Anyone arriving in the islands without a negative Covid-19 test will have to self-quarantine for 14-days or until they can produce a negative test.

Here’s a flowchart the Governor’s office has produced to show how things are expected to work:

a colorful rectangular chart with arrows
Click to enlarge

It’s important to note that no testing will be available for purchase upon arrival at the various airports in Hawaii so passengers will have to make sure they’re tested before leaving home. Anyone displaying symptoms upon arrival or registering a temperature of over 100.4°F (38°C) will be required to undergo a secondary screening at the airport with trained healthcare staff even if they can show evidence of a negative Covid-19 test.

Quick Thought

This is the news that everyone in Hawaii, whose jobs and businesses are linked to the tourism industry, has been waiting for, but any celebrations may be a bit premature. Hawaii was meant to introduce the pre-travel testing program at the beginning of August, but its implementation was pushed back to September and it was then pushed back two more times so it would take a brave person to bet that we don’t see another delay.

Bottom Line

Hawaii is scheduled to implement its much delayed pre-travel testing program from 15 October so, assuming no further delays, travelers who can provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of their arrival will be able to avoid having to self-quarantine for 14 days from that date onwards.


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