Big Island tentatively approved for 2nd test at airport. Kauai awaiting decision from governor on tiered system.

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Hawaii (Big) Island Travel Update 

Per the Star Advertiser, Hawaii Island Mayor Kim has received tentative approval to require out-of-state passengers who have taken a pre-travel test to take a second test upon arrival. The plan for a second test is pending approval by the state attorney general.

Mayor Kim says the earlier reports of the Big Island opting out was a misunderstanding. Here’s an excerpt from the Star Advertiser:

“Kim said earlier reports about Hawaii island “opting out” of the pre-travel testing program grew out of a misunderstanding and a poor choice of words on his part. He said he never meant to say the county wasn’t going to participate, just that it was vitally important to have a second test.”

Kim also told the Star Advertiser that the second test plan would work as follows:

“The process will take anywhere from a half-hour to 45 minutes, he said. Those who test negative are free to go. A positive result requires another test — a PCR test, the results of which won’t be available until the next day, which will require staying in quarantine.”

We’re not sure, but we believe that the time estimates are for the actual taking of the test along with the time to obtain and communicate the result. There may be an additional time required to wait in a line to take the test.

Please read this Star Advertiser article for more details on this evolving issue.

Kauai Travel Update

We told you yesterday about the proposed tier system of allowing or disallowing quarantine bypass based on a seven-day average of positive cases on the island of Kauai. Through end-of-day Friday, there was no word on whether the proposal was approved by the governor or not.

The mayor of Kauai is also requesting visitors to voluntarily take a second test three days after arrival.

The same Star Advertiser article referenced above provides some insight to the Kauai situation as well. It might be helpful to watch the mayor’s Friday video update with some overviews of the tiered system and why they chose it.

Additionally, Kauai is still urging a second test of incoming travelers with a shortened quarantine. See this press release regarding a request for the governor to approve a two-test system for Kauai.

We’d like to once again point to hawaiicovid19.com/travel for questions about traveling to Hawaii during the pandemic. That site has the official rules and guidance.

8 comments
  1. I’ve been in the Kona Airport numerous times, it is mostly open air. Although I never thought that the crowds in peak times were overwhelming, it can get pretty busy. When passengers start arriving in greater numbers with 4 or 5 flights arriving at the same time and departures in the same area this added testing may become a logistical nightmare.
    They couldn’t even coordinate a test system until the last minute even when they were aware of the proposal for 7 months. It’s going to be interesting to see , in real time ,how this will work at the airport. This is now the world of real time messaging and social media so we may all find out instantly how passengers are effected by this airport test before we decide on travel to Hawaii.
    For the sake of ALL passengers I hope that it works efficiently, and that it doesn’t rain and also that they have a system for incoming luggage while they are waiting.

    1. Great points, Lopaka!

      To piggyback on the space limitations you mentioned is a challenge for social distancing, too. It wouldn’t be wise to bunch up a plane load of people in a small area for testing and obtaining results.

      Like you said, it’s going to be very interesting to hear the realtime experiences of the people arriving this week. Fingers crossed that all goes well for everyone involved!

  2. Why would anyone come to Kauai under that system? Odds are strong they will be back in 14 day quarantine and you might not know until the day you leave. What about if the tier changes while you are there? Will you be “grandfathered” into the previous tier? Insanity

  3. I just read an article which reported that the test area was across from the terminal in Kona. I think that plan would avoid a lot of chaos that would happen if it was in the terminal. As was mentioned by someone on a different topic, a tent would be a good idea.
    I still won’t go if there is a second test. I won’t take chances of losing so much money(over$15,000).
    I’m not opposed to testing, I just won’t do it after I arrive.I don’t go on vacation to chance being locked in a room.

    I wonder how all this required medical paperwork,testing ,plus the chance of quarantine will be viewed by foreigners.

  4. I read that, in the near future , some airlines may do instant covid testing before departures. If a passenger takes the test 72 hours before departure and then all passengers take an instant test at the airport before they depart I wonder if that would eliminate the test upon arrival in Hawaii. I see no reason for the test in Hawaii if that can be done.
    …..If you take an airline test at the departing airport and are positive I wonder if they will they refund your fare ?
    With my travel insurance a positive test is not covered so I’d have to see a doctor and be diagnosed as too sick to fly(I asked this question of my insurance provider).
    If I was found positive before I Ieave I would not have to search out a doctor on Hawaii Island for that diagnosis, I could see my own doctor.
    If coverage was denied I’d lose airfare and prepaid hotel/condo/rental car expenses.
    I hope that travel agents advise their clients of the many pitfalls. I know of many travelers that don’t research things like this before they depart.

    1. Good questions.

      Rapid tests are the airport, assuming they’re accurate enough, could *possibly* eliminate the need for any other tests.

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