Hawai’i has officially announced its twice-delayed plan for allowing transpacific visitors to enter without the need to quarantine for 14 days post-arrival. While some parts of the plan are still waiting for the final touches to be put in place, October 15th has been confirmed as the date by Governor David Ige in a press conference on September 16th.
In short, people traveling to Hawai’i can avoid quarantine by providing a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.
Here are some of the details of the plan and some questions about its implementation:
All arrivals, regardless of age, will have to provide a negative test result with an FDA approved NAAT (nucleic acid amplification test) performed with a nasal swab from a CLIA certified lab from 72 hours before arrival.
That’s a lot to unpack. You have to make sure you have the correct type of test and the results have to be back quickly enough for you to get the test before traveling and with results of the test within the 72-hour deadline. To help people with the testing, Hawai’i is partnering with CVS and Kaiser Permanente to do tests, which will cost between $120 and $140, with the guarantee that results will be returned in no more than three days. Details on how test results are going to be confirmed are still being worked out.
If you get tested before traveling but your results are not back when you arrive in Hawai’i, you will have to quarantine until a negative result is received.
Even if you are COVID-19 negative, everyone is still expected to minimize interactions and monitor themselves for symptoms.
I’m still a little unclear about the timing of the 72 hours, as some places are saying it’s from your arrival time and others are saying it’s based on when you begin to travel. As a trip from the east coast to Hawai’i can take the better part of the day or might even require a layover on the west coast, that can make a big difference of when you have to get tested.
If you’re still waiting for your results but decide to travel anyway, there’s a chance that you’ll get a positive test result back. If you get it when you arrive in Hawai’i, be ready to isolate for 14 days or until you get cleared by negative tests. Also, if at any time during your time on the islands you start to exhibit symptoms, you’re supposed to get tested immediately.
Those who prefer to not get tested will still have the option to quarantine for 14 days. Hopefully those resort bubbles will be viable options quickly.
I know there are many people who can’t wait to get to Hawai’i. Seeing the reopening get pushed back again and again has left people feeling like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. This time, it seems like they’re going to make a go of it and see what happens. I only hope that people trying to visit the islands they love so much will follow all of the rules about getting tested. We all saw what happened last time when Hawai’i tried to reopen and 200 people were arrested for breaking the quarantine rules.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary