As Hawaii’s long-awaited COVID-test testing plan is set to go into effect on Oct. 15, new details were announced on Tuesday by Governor David Ige for travelers visiting Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island.
The plan to reopen to out-of-state travelers allows those visiting to bypass the state’s 14-day quarantine by testing negative within 72 hours of departing for Hawaii. The pre-travel testing program now allows neighbor islands to be able to include a second test, free of charge to the traveler, KHON2 reported.
“Kauai County has established a voluntary testing program on day three after arrival, and Maui County also established a voluntary post-arrival testing program. Hawaii Island will require an antigen test for all arriving trans-pacific travelers who are participating in the pre-travel testing program,” the governor said in a news conference.
Hawaii County officials said the tests will be administered at all three airports on the Big Island. Anyone who tests positive must take a PCR test and quarantine under the results return.
“The truth of the matter is, we knew that once they leave the airport, it will be almost an impossible task to ensure that we can get all of them to take the test and to get the test to go to them,” Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said.
The 14-day mandatory quarantine has been extended until the end of November for all incoming travelers who did not test negative in the pre-travel program, according to KHON2.
The Associated Press reported that state officials are hopeful the pre-travel coronavirus testing program will give local tourism a much-needed boost while keeping residents safe. The industry brought in more than $1.5 billion in revenue to the Aloha State at its peak before the shutdowns caused by the coronavirus, and has since plunged by over 90%.