Hawaii delays pre-travel testing plan by at least a month

August 18 UPDATE: The pre-travel testing program has been delayed yet again to October 1, 2020 at the earliest.

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Gov. Ige announced that Hawaii will delay the pre-travel test reopening plan until September October 1, 2020 in a press conference on Monday, July 13, 2020.

The pre-travel testing plan was originally due to start August 1, 2020, but leaders and lawmakers want another month. This plan was designed to allow visitors to bypass the 14-day quarantine requirements with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. The new date for implementing this plan is September October 1, 2020.

The pre-travel testing plan was only just announced less than three weeks ago. So, what has changed? From what we gather, the reasons are that Hawaii cases surging to all-time highs and mainland cases are surging in certain states.  Additionally, we’ve heard conflicting information about whether or not Hawaii has sufficient contact-tracing and testing capabilities with trans-Pacific travel opening. The possibility of Hawaii opening schools in August combined with all the other factors has made leaders rethink the  original pre-travel testing program start date.

The mandatory 14-day quarantine will also be extended through at least the end of August for all visitors and residents arriving from outside the state of Hawaii.

As more details emerge, we will publish them. If you are not already subscribed to our free email newsletter, you can sign up for it at this link.

Brief update:  Per Gov. Ige, the plan details will be published sometime in August.

14 comments
  1. Not a surprise. I am guessing the mainland surge has not allowed CVS to say with any confidence they can get tests back within 72 hours if you can even get one.

    1. 3-7 days to get a test result back here in AZ. We will not be taking ANY tests. Cancelling our trip in mid September

  2. CVS currently is not doing any Covid 19 testing in Oregon. I don’t understand the Governor’s decision to push the date to September. If you test negative than what difference does it make if it is August or September? If negative I wouldn’t be bringing the virus at any time.

    1. Diane,
      Likely, the “surge” is only the convenient surface excuse.
      The fact that it is absolutely impossible to get tested and receive results within the 72 hour window pretty much killed their plan of reopening travel. They ultimately know that nobody would be able to meet that criteria, so why continue with the plan only to have egg on their face when it failed? I was pulling for them; yes, a bit selfishly because I had a trip scheduled since last Summer for August 1st, but also because their state’s economy is dying on the vine. I love Hawaii and hate to see them implode.

      1. Lair,
        You are correct in your assessment of the likelihood of being tested and receiving test results in that time frame. We had a trip scheduled for Aug 8 and unsure when we will be able to change our trip to. I understand not wanting the virus to get worse because of their lack of medical facilities to accommodate an increase in cases, but as I said in my previous post, if I have been tested and am negative for the virus than why can’t I go there to be instrumental in helping their economy?

  3. Sheila;

    My wife and I will try again maybe next year for our 49th Anniversary in Kauai.

    We just cancelled our travel plans for August 8.

    I don’t like the delay but I understand. Getting a test within 5-7 DAYS is tough here unless you have Doctor approval. I like to think having a negative test pre-board would have been enough to allow (healthy) visitors. COVID IS SPREADING!

    Aloha!

    1. I’m sorry your trip had to be cancelled. When this news came out, I thought about you and some others who had mentioned August trips.

      Delaying the trip to next year may end up being for the best anyway. I think it’s going to be a while before the pre-travel testing program works as designed. Also, it’s going to take some time for residents feel comfortable with visitors.

      1. re: delaying August trip

        Oahu resident here.

        Folks, if it makes you feel any better, if you had come to the islands in August it would not have been a typical Hawaiian vacation. First of all, we have a state-wide mask mandate. Many popular attractions on Oahu are still closed (Hanauma Bay, Polynesian Cultural Center, Luaus, Tours, etc. ) The attractions that are open have reduced hours and limited admission tickets, which you must reserve ahead of time. There are no shows or fireworks in Waikiki. Many restaurants are still take-out only, and at the malls and outlets only a few stores are open for business.

        It is much the same on the neighbor islands.

        As you have noticed, we have a lot of cooks in the kitchen trying to figure out this pre-travel testing business. It’s going to take a while, and even then it will probably be a wonky scheme, and likely to have frequent changes. It’s just way things are here. In the meantime, we are struggling daily with new cases and clusters of Covid-19, and trying to figure out how to send our keiki back to school on Aug. 4.

        It really would be best to wait until the dust settles on all this before you visit, so you can have the best experience. You’re not going to get it now.

  4. I was so disappointed that HW didn’t open on August 1st- I had a flight on that date – I am not going to make further plans to visit Kauai until they open for certain- I’ve cancelled twice already! I don’t believe they will open September 1 – if they put in good protocols they should be able to do it-

  5. I am so sad. I formerly lived in Hawaii and we frequently return. However, the 72 hour requirement makes it impossible. We are both Covid free and my husband has been tested. No one we know will give you a receipt for the results. They call you with the results. We are willing to pay any money for them. Oh Well! Question-do you have to wear the mask when you are on the beach?

    Also, do you think things will change by December?

  6. Sheila;
    Well now I am glad I cancelled 48th Anniversary trip to Kauai (8/8)! Things are NOT much better in California. Have my “Voucher” on UAL 1st Class! to spend within 1 year! Think July/August 2021 Covid-19 will be under control??

    Love someone to recommend best place to have 49th Anniversary dinner on Kauai (or maybe on board a boat) I will stay positive and my best to all on the islands

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