After Sept. 1, travelers who show a negative COVID-19 test can bypass quarantine.

By Cailey Rizzo
July 14, 2020
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Anthony Nguyen EyeEm via Getty

Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced that the state would delay its pre-testing COVID-19 program for visitors through Sept. 1.

Hawaii had originally intended to introduce a pre-testing program on Aug. 1. Through the program, travelers who could produce results of a negative COVID-19 test would not have to quarantine after arrival. However, due to an increase in coronavirus cases in the continental U.S., which is affecting Hawaii’s COVID-19 testing supply, the state decided to push back the launch of its program.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to make. This delay will further hurt our economy, but as I’ve always said – we will make decisions based on the best available science and facts prioritizing the health and safety of Hawai‘i residents,” Gov. Ige said in a statement via press release on Monday. “Our county mayors and I agree, this delay is essential to protect our community.”

There are multiple reasons for pushing back the pre-testing program. Not only is Hawaii itself seeing an increase in cases, but the state expects another uptick when schools reopen in August. And some of Hawaii’s main tourism markets, including California, are seeing their own spike in COVID-19 outbreaks.

Once the program is launched in September, travelers will be able to opt-out of the 14-day quarantine if they can produce negative test results, taken within 72 hours of arrival to Hawaii. Travelers must pay for the test themselves and they must be done ahead of time, as there will be no commercial testing available at Hawaii airports.

If the test results are not immediately available, a traveler must remain in quarantine until their test results are received. Travelers who do not undergo pre-testing will have to isolate for 14 days.

Hawaii has reported 1,243 cases of coronavirus, according to the state Department of Health, with the majority of cases in Honolulu country. Of the cases, 128 have required hospitalization and 22 were fatal.