OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR – News Release — State to launch COVID-19 pre-travel testing program for out-of-state travelers August 1Posted on Jun 24, 2020 in COVID-19 News Releases, Latest News, Press Releases
HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige announced today all travelers arriving in Hawai‘i from out-of-state will be required to get a valid COVID-19 test prior to their arrival, and to show proof of a negative test result, to avoid the 14-day quarantine. The pre-travel testing program begins Aug. 1.
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. Without this, passengers arriving from out-of-state will be subject to the 14-day quarantine. No testing will be provided upon arrival at the airport.
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.
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.
In addition, travelers will be required to fill out the State Travel and Health form.
“The health of our community remains our primary focus. This multi-layered pre-travel testing and screening process allows travelers an alternative to the 14-day travel quarantine in a way that protects the health and safety of our kama‘āina and visitors,” said Gov. Ige. “Now is the time to work together to ensure that our local businesses can safely re-open to incoming travelers.”
“Asking passengers to get a negative COVID-19 test prior to travel is one more tool in our layered screening process that will help keep Hawai’i safe. As we navigate this pandemic, any way we can minimize risk while bringing some normalcy to our daily lives is the right path forward. I appreciate the incredible work of the partners involved in this process, and special thanks to the people of Hawaii who have shown their aloha, patience and resilience throughout this challenging time,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.
Additional Quotes from State Leaders:
Senate President Ronald Kouchi:
“The Governor, the mayors of the four counties, Speaker Saiki and I are working together to ensure we come out with the best results for the people of Hawai‘i and the visitors who are going to come and enjoy our wonderful island state. This is by far the most difficult decision that I have ever had to make in my political career, to stand up and say when I think it is safe for us to start welcoming tourists, to try to get our businesses going forward, while being mindful of the health and safety of the residents of this state. It’s about creating layers of safety. This plan contains a robust testing protocol, including the ability to have contact tracing. It’s about keeping our community safe.”
House Speaker Scott Saiki:
“As travel begins to incrementally reopen in Hawai‘i, the public should be assured that our top priority is the health and safety of all residents. On Friday, the Legislature is poised to approve Senate Bill 126 that will appropriate $90 million for health and safety protocols at the state airports. This includes funding for thermal screening, a web-based travel application, and screening equipment.”
Mayor Derek Kawakami, Kaua‘i County:
“We appreciate the Governor’s willingness to take our recommendations into consideration. Our ability to keep our residents safe is going to require the continued collaboration of all government agencies, the private sector, and most importantly, our community. If there was ever a time where we must work together and take care of one another, now is that time.”
Mayor Mike Victorino, Maui County:
“I want to mahalo the people of Maui County for doing a tremendous job in protecting our community and keeping our case counts low. Over the past 45 days, we’ve conducted thousands of tests and reported just 7 new cases. Our local medical care providers continue to do testing and our hospital has improved its operations and capacity. We also are working closely with our state partners and airport officials to ensure they have the support they need. We look forward to working with the Governor and Mayors on preparing the State of Hawai‘i and Maui County for transpacific travelers, while maintaining necessary protocols for protecting our people.”
Mayor Kirk Caldwell, City and County of Honolulu:
“The City and County of Honolulu continues to be a strong proponent of requiring a negative COVID-19 test for individuals flying into Honolulu, as a way to bypass the 14 day quarantine. This is just one component of what it will take to keep O‘ahu residents safe, the others being robust testing, contact tracing, and isolation measures including support, along with physical distancing and mask wearing. So far we’re encouraged by the opening of interisland travel, but also understand opening travel to visitors outside of Hawai‘i will present a whole new set of serious challenges.”
Mayor Harry Kim, Hawai‘i County:
“On going forward, our priority was the development of a really comprehensive system that monitors incoming passengers from out of state. I was elated when the Governor put emphasis on that – for a unified system for the whole state that County of Hawai‘i Civil Defense developed. It is a GIS-based digitized data base system utilized by the whole state. Implementation of this system will give all of the agencies involved real-time information to monitor incoming passengers from out of state.”
Bruce Anderson, director, state Department of Health:
“Lifting the 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travel will require an intensive airport screening process, increased contact tracing and monitoring of cases, and careful tracking of the state’s progress in controlling and containing the coronavirus. This is a huge undertaking by the state and a tremendous commitment from public health as we embark on these new and untested initiatives and face many unknowns. It is definitely a new normal and we have much to learn as we lift restrictions and rebuild our economy while safeguarding the health of our people.
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