In a Facebook live chat with Lt. Gov. Green that was hosted by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, more details about the pre-travel testing program were revealed. Green says that on Thursday, October 1st, a press conference will be held to discuss the program in detail. Also on Thursday, www.hawaiicovid19.com/travel will be loaded with all the firm information.
Here’s the full video:
At about the 11-minute mark, the lieutenant governor offered some previews of the pre-travel testing program and what we should hear at Thursday’s press conference. Here are the newest points we gathered:
- CVS, Walgreens and Kaiser Permanente are all in contract with Hawaii to offer pre-travel testing. By October 10th, their systems and websites should start to have pre-travel testing information loaded.
- Quest Labs will be another testing partner that will be added. Quest Labs has a large network which includes many Walmart locations.
- Both United and Hawaiian airlines will be offering some limited testing as we shared last week. The lieutenant governor hinted that another airline should be making an announcement soon. UPDATE: American Airlines to offer testing for passengers traveling through DFW.
- Mail-in testing will be an option, but only if the process of taking the sample is observed.
- Hawaii had previously stated that persons of all ages must be tested, but they plan to change to allow children under the age of five to be exempt from testing.
- Presently most testing partners will not test children 12 and under. Hawaii is working with partners to get them to lower that age limit.
- The Safe Travels Form will be the place where travelers upload their test results. For a refresher, we wrote about Hawaii’s Safe Travels form here.
As a reminder, other key pieces of pre-travel testing program information that we’ve previously shared:
- With a negative test result, a visitor will be exempt from the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
- The test must be taken within a 72-hour period before traveling. This testing window is defined as within 72 hours prior to the final leg of departure.
- The acceptable test is a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) processed in a certified CLIA laboratory. It is up to the traveler to verify that their test meets those criteria.
- If a test result is not received upon arrival in Hawaii, the traveler must go directly into quarantine while they await their result.
- The cost of testing is the responsibility of the traveler.
At around the 23-minute mark of the video, the lieutenant governor briefly discusses international travel and their testing options. A NAAT taken with their countries’ certified lab standard would be accepted. He specifically mentions that the state is working with Japan, Korea and Canada regarding testing plans. It sounds like we’ll be hearing more about international travel testing options at the Thursday press conference as well.
The lieutenant governor is heading up the pre-travel testing program, so his word is a reliable source. Bear in mind that it is possible that lawmakers could change any of the above prior to the press conference. So, we’ll have to wait for the official word later this week.
In the meantime if you have any questions about this process, check www.hawaiicovid19.com/travel where there are already many FAQs addressed.
We’re really starting to feel that this time, Hawaii is going to open tourism on October 15th. How about you?