Hawaii reopening to tourism on October 15
Updated September 18, 2020
Hawaii’s previously announced plan to allow mainland and international travelers to bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine is now in question, which restrictions and closures being reinstituted this week following a spike in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The pre-travel testing program will not go into effect before October 15, 2020, meaning all travelers arriving in the islands on international or mainland flights must abide by the state’s 14-day self-quarantine order.
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The quarantine order for inbound travelers is one of many new restrictions in place.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced a two-week stay-at-home, work-from-home order that went into effect on August 26.
Before that, Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced that Hawaii residents again have to abide by the 14-day quarantine for interisland travel. That mandate had previously been lifted for residents.
The state had intended to ease restrictions for incoming mainland and international travelers, as well, announcing that, starting October 1, 2020, travelers could bypass the quarantine mandate as long as they had received a valid COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) within 72 hours of boarding their flight to Hawaii and could show proof of a negative test result upon arrival at the airport.
It is unclear whether the state will still move forward with that plan.
Under the plan, travelers who could not produce a valid negative test result would still have abide by Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine, which remains in effect until at least September 30, 2020. Violating the order can lead to a fine up to $5,000 and a year in jail.
While announcing the initial plan, Ige acknowledged there were still concerns regarding tourism and the coronavirus pandemic but also said his administration was hopeful that pre-testing would work as it had in Alaska, allowing the Hawaii to welcome visitors without a spike in new COVID-19 cases.
“We believe this process of pre-testing does allow us to bring travelers back to Hawaii in a way that maintains a priority on the health and safety of our community,” he said.
For more information on travel requirements, visit the State of Hawaii Department of Health website.
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