In a press conference on September 16, Hawaii’s Gov. Ige announced that the pre-travel testing program will begin October 15, 2020. The pre-travel testing program will allow trans-Pacific visitors to be exempt from the 14-day quarantine by providing a negative COVID-19 test result within 72-hours of travel.
Limited details of the pre-travel testing program were discussed in the press conference. More information will be forthcoming. The details of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program that were mentioned in the press conference were:
- Hawaii has agreements in place with CVS and Kaiser Permanente to provide testing for travelers to Hawaii. Additional testing parters will be announced in the coming weeks. Walgreens was a potential partner that was mentioned.
- Visitors will be responsible for the costs of the tests. The estimated test cost is $140 per person.
- At this time, the acceptable test is to be a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) conducted in a certified CLIA laboratory. The lieutenant governor mentioned that as other, reliable tests become available, they may be used in the future.
- In the press conference, the exact timeframe of the 72-hour window of testing was a bit unclear. The governor said tests are to be taken within 72 hours “prior to arrival”, while Lt. Gov. Green indicated that the test will need to be taken no more than 72 hours “before travel.” This will be a key piece of information that will need to be better defined. *Update: per the 13th supplement emergency proclamation signed on September 23, 2020, the 72-hour period is “within 72 hours from the final leg of departure.”
- The governor stated that part of the agreements with the testing partners, such as CVS and Kaiser, is for the partners to commit to returning the result within the 72 hours so that visitors will be able to get the result in time before they depart.
- If test results are not available at the time of arrival in Hawaii, travelers will have to remain in quarantine until they get their test result. A process will be in place to verify results to release those persons from quarantine provided they receive a negative result.
- All arriving passengers will be subject to the pre-travel testing program — including children of all ages.
- No commercial testing will be provided in Hawaii airports at the present time.
After the press conference, we noticed that the HawaiiCovid19.com/travel/ page was updated with several questions and answers about the new program. So, be sure and check those out.
The governor provided the following flowchart to illustrate the scenarios and steps.
Again, we expect Hawaii officials to release more details in the coming days. You can check HawaiiCovid19.com/travel/ as well.
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