After the delay of several proposed reopenings, Hawaii is on track to reopen on October 15 allowing tourists to enter the islands without the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The new testing program, as explained by Governor David Ige, will let tourists avoid the quarantine if they had been tested within 72 hours of departure with an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), performed using a nasal swab, and can show proof of negative test results from a CLIA certified laboratory.
Travelers also will have their temperatures checked upon arrival and must fill out a travel and health form. Upon arrival in Hawaii, passengers unable to provide proof of an approved negative test will be required to go into quarantine for 14 days or until they can provide proof of negative test results.
“Mass testing, contact tracing and pre-travel testing programs are key measures I’ve long-supported,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green, in a statement. “Their implementation, along with a vaccination plan for when they become available, will be critical to our success in managing the coronavirus.”
In addition, Ige announced a new leadership team that will oversee the state’s public health response to COVID-19 and the pre-travel testing program.
Maj. Gen. Ken Hara, director, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, continues his role as incident commander, spearheading the collaboration between federal, state and county resources to address the pandemic response.
Dr. Libby Char, director, State Department of Health, is responsible for the management of the state’s public health programs and collaboration between state, county, and private healthcare partners.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green will spearhead the pre-travel testing program, which includes adding partners to administer the tests and sourcing new testing options and is also responsible for planning the state’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy.
“This new leadership team gives us a stronger operational structure, stronger leadership, and clears the way for stronger partnerships between the public and private sectors,” said Ige.
Dr. Virginia Pressler, former director of the State Department of Health, has volunteered to lead the Laulima Alliance, a cross functional team of public and private sector resources, ensuring that all have a voice in policy making and implementation of programs responding to the pandemic.
“Together with the progress we’ve made, and continue to make, in the fight against COVID-19, this new leadership team gives us confidence that the time is right to launch our pre-travel COVID-19 testing program, which is an important step toward reviving our economy while continuing to protect public health,” said Gov. Ige.
For information about Hawaii’s last closure click here.
Stories about future travel can be accessed at #AmazingDaysAhead.