Hawaii reopening to tourism on September 1, with a catch
Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced a plan to allow mainland and international travelers to bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine, beginning September 1, 2020.
The catch? Incoming travelers must have a valid COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) within 72 hours of boarding their flight to Hawaii and must show proof of a negative test result upon arrival at the airport in order to avoid the 14-day quarantine.
Mainland and international travelers who cannot produce a valid negative test result must still abide by Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine, which remains in effect until at least August 31, 2020. Violating the order can lead to a fine up to $5,000 and a year in jail.
While acknowledging there are still concerns regarding tourism and the coronavirus pandemic, Ige said his administration is hopeful that pre-testing will work as it has in Alaska, allowing the state 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.
Additional details are pending regarding the changes taking effect September 1. The state is in discussions with CVS Pharmacy on starting a testing protocol and Ige administration noted that test results from any CLIA-certified lab would be accepted.
Testing on arrival is not currently part of the plan; travelers must get tested before departing.
For the latest information on travel requirements, visit the State of Hawaii Department of Health website.
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