Hawaii imposes new COVID-19 travel restrictions

HONOLULU — Anyone flying to Hawaii will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test result prior to their departure for the state, with the new rule going into effect two days before Thanksgiving, Governor David Ige announced on Thursday.

Until now, passengers flying to the islands using a pre-travel testing programme were permitted to arrive and then upload their negative test results to a state database, allowing them to skip two weeks of quarantine.

However, some travellers who arrived in Hawaii without their test results wound up later testing positive. That, in part, prompted the rule change, Ige said at a news conference,

The new programme goes into effect on Tuesday, just ahead of the holiday.

To bypass the 14-day quarantine, travellers must have the correct type of COVID-19 negative test results from one of the state’s trusted testing partners, Ige said.

“If test results are not available before boarding the final leg of their trip, the traveller must quarantine for 14 days or the length of the stay, whichever runs shorter,” he said.

Those who arrive without having their negative test results before departure will not be able to skip quarantine, even if their negative results become available shortly after they arrive.

Passenger have always had the option to not get tested at all and quarantine in their hotel rooms or homes upon arrival. Travellers will continue to have that option.

A crew of workers unload gear as they arrive on Kure Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. PHOTO: AP