On Wednesday, Gov. David Ige and his pandemic response leadership team announced the details of the pre-travel testing program that begins on Oct. 15.
The pre-travel testing program will require any traveler five years or older to produce a negative Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified laboratory 72 hours prior to their arrival in order to bypass the 14-day mandatory quarantine.
“The pre-travel testing program will add an additional layer of protection for Hawaiʻi when combined with our Safe Travels mandatory online health questionnaire, airport temperature screening, improved contact tracing and the many other safety protocols we have in place,” Gov. Ige said.
In addition to the approved COVID-19 tests, airports will also require temperature and symptom checks. Those who present symptoms or a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees will undergo a secondary airport screening by trained personnel.
All arriving passengers will also fill out Safe Travels health forms, where travelers will complete health/travel questionnaires and upload their COVID-19 results.
The Department of Health has a total of 300 contact tracers with 200 of them in reserves, according to Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) Director Kenneth Hara.
“A robust contact tracing capability is essential to our disease mitigation efforts, so we are continuing to increase our staffing in this area,” Hara said.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green announced the 12 trusted partners of the pre-travel testing program which are made up of government agencies, hospitality businesses, airlines and those with CLIA certified COVID-19 tests. More partners are expected to be added as time goes on.
“We are doing all that we can to make the pre-travel testing program successful and we’ll need to make adjustments along the way. I appreciate the incredible hard work of the partners involved in this process,” Green said.
Although the pre-travel testing program begins on Oct. 15, Gov. Ige said they do not expect an immediate influx of travelers.
“We don’t expect a rush of travelers beginning next Thursday (Oct. 15), as most airlines indicate they will not increase trans-Pacific flights until Nov. 1. Many hotels are just gradually re-opening between now until the end of the year,” Gov. Ige said.
The interisland quarantine will continue until county mayors and Gov. Ige establish a concrete plan on how people can safely travel to other islands. Interisland travelers will still need to fill out the Safe Travels health form and will undergo secondary airport screening if they present symptoms and temperatures of 100.4 or higher.
Registration instructions and costs of COVID-19 tests can be found on the partners’ websites and HawaiiCovid19.com.
List of trusted partners and websites: