UPDATE: Big Island is not opting out. The Big Island is participating in the pre-travel testing program with the addition of a second test upon arrival at a Big Island airport. Check our Go Visit Hawaii homepage for any further news.
We’re just nine days from the October 15th start of the pre-travel testing program, yet, there’s still quite a bit of chaos around it. Yesterday, some new answers emerged, but new questions developed, too.
Hawaii’s Big Island opts out of pre-travel testing program
Governor Ige has given each island county the option to opt out of the pre-travel testing program per the Star Advertiser. The mayor of the Big Island has decided to not participate in the pre-travel testing program. Anyone coming to the Big Island is subject to a 14-day quarantine.
The Big Island has recently experienced a surge in cases. They had a new record high case count on Saturday of 43 new cases.
Per the Star Advertiser, the mayor of Hawaii (Big) Island is quoted as saying, “All of us want to open up our economy, (but) … I made a decision that the risk factor in regards to doing this at this time is not an acceptable risk as far as endangering Hawaii’s people.”
At the moment, it doesn’t appear that the other islands/counties plan to opt-out.
Proposed two-step/sandwich/post-arrival testing denied by the governor
On Saturday, we told you about the proposed two-step testing plan from the mayors of Maui and Kauai. Those plans have been denied by the governor per yesterday’s Kauai update and Maui update. But, is something else in the works? Watch this Maui update from the 25-minute mark onward. Maui’s mayor mentions “other means” to verify safety are being considered. He says that he expects an announcement on Wednesday.
What’s going to happen with the inter-island quarantines?
Presently there are some mandatory 14-day, inter-island quarantines. As we understand it, there’s a quarantine for anyone who resides on or visits Oahu and travels to the other Hawaiian Islands. If you are traveling from any of the other islands to Oahu, you are not required to quarantine on Oahu.
For clarity, when the new pre-travel testing program begins and you are traveling to either Maui, Kauai, Lanai or Molokai with a negative pre-travel test and you are simply making a flight connection within HNL airport you are not required to quarantine.
Additionally, as we understand it, there’s also a 14-day quarantine for “all persons traveling to Hawaii Island” per a new emergency rule signed last week.
From what we’ve read, there’s going to be some upcoming news about the inter-island quarantines. Hopefully it will be simplified because right now it’s a bit confusing.
These quarantines are definitely something to be aware of if you are planning to visit more than one island. If the inter-island quarantines continue as is and you’re planning a multi-island trip, visit Oahu last.
For further questions, check http://hawaiicovid19.com/travel for a list of frequently asked questions and their answers.