WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU TRAVEL TO HAWAII ISLAND WITH NEW TESTING PROGRAM IN PLACE
We have heard many of our clients discuss wanting to come to Hawaii Island to vacation and quite a few wish to look at property in person instead of through video chat. The last few weeks have been rather confusing for residents and visitors alike with Mayor Kim choosing to opt out of the Governor’s plan to re-open the islands with pre-arrival testing. With new information just coming in on the policies, we wanted to share what we know to help you navigate a trip to our beautiful island successfully and easily.
On October 15, 2020, passengers who successfully complete a pre-travel test, and test negative for COVID-19, will not be subject to the state’s 14-day quarantine program.
FDA-approved NAAT tests, processed by a CLIA-certified laboratory are the only types of coronavirus tests currently approved by the state of Hawaii.
IMPORTANT: The State of Hawaiʻi will accept test results ONLY from TRUSTED TESTING AND TRAVEL PARTNERS: AFC Urgent Care, Bartell Drugs, Carbon Health, City Health Urgent Care, Color, CVS Health, Discovery Health MD, Kaiser Permanente, Quest Diagnostics, Vault Health and Walgreens (as of 10/13/20)
First of all: Travelers to the Big Island of Hawaii will be required to take a second test upon arrival
The County has been receiving questions from people about the testing program. Here is the info directly from the County:
3 different things that may happen for arriving visitors.
1.They do not take a pretest before arriving in Hawai‘i: → automatic 14-day quarantine upon arrival at any of 3 airports on Hawai‘i Island.
2.Trans-Pacific travelers to Hawai‘i Island, five years and older, wanting to bypass the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine period can choose to participate in the State’s pre-test program. (those age 5 years and under do not need a test.)
3. Travelers must take an approved COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arriving in Hawai‘i. Upon arriving on Hawai‘i Island, they will be required to take a free secondary Covid-19 antigen test administered by the County of Hawai‘i. Again, it is FREE. This antigen test will provide results within 15-20 minutes while travelers are still at the airport.
If a traveler tests negative for COVID-19, they will not be subject to self-quarantine.
Those testing positive for COVID-19 with the antigen test will be required follow Department of Health procedures and immediately take a free PCR test and self-quarantine while awaiting the results of the PCR test, which is expected within 36 hours.
All incoming travelers to Kona will be required to take an antigen test when they arrive at Kona International Airport. The antigen testing site is a new facility within the Kona airport.
Hilo and Waimea also have testing sites at their airports, as well.
What About Interisland Travel?
Interisland travelers arriving onHawai‘i Island have to quarantine for 14 days.
Maui and Kauai ― but not Hawaii Island ― will allow inter-island travelers to produce a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel in order to avoid quarantine.
“Kauai County and Maui County will be implementing the inter-county travel testing program on Thursday,” said Governor Ige. But inter-island visitors arriving on Hawaii Island, like those whose flights originated from across the Pacific, will need to quarantine until receiving the results of a post-arrival test.
It is up to Governor David Ige to decide whether to extend the testing programs and keep the quarantine in place for Hawaii County, or lift it and allow residents and visitors to freely travel between islands.
What To Expect At The Airport:
The first few days of planes arriving into Kona International Airport experienced long delays due to the testing area being a bit overwhelmed with the amount of passengers. They have since realized that most people will most likely have to wait for at least 45 to 90 minutes to get through the test and wait to get the results. Be prepared, bring snacks and water and use the bathroom on the plane has been the suggestions from travelers who arrived over the weekend.
Airport personnel will be there taking the temperatures of all arriving passengers. If you have a temperature over 100.4 degrees, you will be requested to take additional screening. At each of the terminals there will be staff there to guide people, making sure they’re in the correct line.
Four lines will be available for arriving passengers: One for people without a QR code, one for people with a QR code and a negative COVID-19 test, one for people with a QR code but no negative test and one line for exempt people (flight crews, active military).
In order to get that QR code, create a Safe Travels login. Everyone must have a valid email. There, you can add your trips, fill out your health questionnaire and upload documents.
Hawaii Travel Resources:
The state of Hawaii has created a very helpful website: https://hawaiicovid19.comwhich can answer many questions concerning travel to Hawaii.
If you would like to see the flow chart the state created to make it easier to see what the requirements are for travel and what happens if you test positive for COVID-19 along the way, check this out: https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/
The state website does not have the updated rules for travel to individual islands, which could cause confusion about travel specifically to Hawaii Island, which is why we wanted to share this information with you. If you are considering purchasing a home on Hawaii Island and wish to discuss the rules for travel, please contact me directly and I will get you the latest information as we receive it from our local news sources.