Hawaii’s current 14-day quarantine
In late March Hawaii introduced a 14-day quarantine for anyone coming to the state. This has been extended a few times, and as of now is valid for arrivals through July 31, 2020.
There has been no option to get tested to avoid this, meaning that Hawaii has been off limits to a vast majority of visitors, since you’d need to quarantine for two weeks before you can even start your vacation. Furthermore, unlike other states, Hawaii has been strictly enforcing the quarantine requirement.
Hawaii to allow testing in lieu of quarantine
As of August 1, 2020, travelers who test negative for coronavirus less than 72 hours before travel to Hawaii will be able to avoid the state’s mandatory quarantine. This will apply to both residents and visitors.
This is a similar model to what we’ve seen in Alaska — the state also initially required a 14-day quarantine, but recently started allowing testing in lieu of that. However, unlike in Alaska, Hawaii won’t be offering testing on arrival. That means the only option to skip the 14-day quarantine is to get tested before travel.
I’m curious — does anyone know if people can reliably schedule a coronavirus test and get the results within 72 hours of travel? I know it’s possible some places, but is it possible everywhere?
As Governor David Ige described the move to allow testing in lieu of a quarantine:
“We recognize that there are many concerns that continue. We believe this process of pre-testing does allow us to bring travelers back to Hawaii in a way that maintains a priority on the health and safety of our community.”
While state officials are nervous about the prospect of reopening given the spike in cases elsewhere, it’s also acknowledged that 240,000 people in the state are unemployed, and that won’t improve until visitors are allowed back in. It’s also believed that contact tracing and widespread testing in the state will allow Hawaii to “live with the virus.”
Hawaii now plans to welcome visitors from out of state without a quarantine as of August 1, 2020. Visitors will need to get tested before travel in order to be allowed in the state, with no option for testing on arrival.
Given how reliant Hawaii’s economy is on tourism, reopening needed to happen eventually. Hopefully the state doesn’t see too much of a spike following this policy change.
Anyone excited to see Hawaii reopen with testing?
(Tip of the hat to @wannnacruise)