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Published on Thursday, September 17, 2020

Hawaii pre-arrival testing begins next month






Hawaii's long awaited pre-travel testing program is set to begin in mid-October.


That means travelers arriving from 15 October will be able to avoid the current mandatory 14-day quarantine.


Travelers would be required to produce proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of their travel.


Hawaii has agreements with healthcare providers CVS and Kaiser Permanente to administer the program.


"I want to emphasize that this pre-travel testing will allow us to add a greater element of safety for travel into our state," said Hawaii Gov. David Ige.


Ige said there will be no testing for the required nucleic acid amplification tests at the airport.


Passengers who are unable to take the NAAT test will have to take one in Hawaii and then remain in quarantine until they receive test results.


"The technology of testing is rapidly evolving. So as cheaper, quicker tests become available … we'll work with DOH, DOT, airports, health care, people everywhere to use those tests also. So this will continuously improve and get easier and easier," said Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who is overseeing Hawaii's pre-travel testing program.


Officials are under increasing pressure from tourism industry workers and business owners to restart tourism.


"It definitely provides an economic opportunity for our state when so many people are suffering," Green said.


Hawaii's quarantine protocol started in March and effectively shut down the state's tourism industry which welcomed a record 10 million visitors last year.


 


Written by Ray Montgomery, US editor

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