BREAKING: Hawaii’s Pre-Travel Testing Program to Start Oct. 15
Governor David Ige this afternoon confirmed that the state’s pre-travel testing program will launch on Oct. 15, enabling travelers to get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Hawaiʻi to avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine if the test comes back negative for the virus.
Currently, testing partners include CVS and Kaiser Permanente. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said arriving passengers will remain in quarantine until they get their test result back. Travelers will be responsible for the cost of their test.
The plan was originally set to launch in August, but has already been pushed back twice. This third delay is 15 days beyond the previously announced Oct. 1 date the governor had announced last month.
The pre-travel test is considered by many in the visitor industry a key factor in reopening the state to tourism. Many hotels have been adjusting their reopening dates based on the state’s projections for the program’s launch.
Gov. Ige today said the state’s response to COVID-19 has always been driven by the “need to protect the health and safety of community.”
He announced new leadership responsible for moving the state’s COVID-19 effort forward to include:
• Kenneth S. Hara, Director, Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency
• Dr. Libby Char, Director, Dept. of Health
• Lt. Governor Josh Green (spearhead testing and vaccination programs)
• Dr. Virginia Pressler, Chair, Laulima Alliance (bring private and public sector alliances together)
Gov. Ige said there are many moving parts that are all interrelated. He identified several challenges including:
- Protecting the public health: This includes effectively tracing, testing and isolating the virus, finalizing a vaccination strategy.
- Reviving the economy: This includes the launch the state’s pre-travel testing program and getting people into new jobs.
- Strengthening the community: This includes distribution of CARES Act funds, minimizing housing loss, facilitating safe return of students and teachers to the classroom.