UPDATE 7/17: - Since I wrote this article, opening date for Hawaiian Islands has been pushed back to Sept 1st.
Who's ready for some fun & sun? Don't we all need a little of that right now?
An evening Luau, A afternoon helicopter ride over Kauai's north coast,
A night snorkeling with Manta Rays. Now that's paradise!....and while we cannot travel to many exotic islands right now, at least we have 5 of our own in the Hawaiian Islands.
Well good news came across to me overnight, Hawaii has announced their islands will reopen for tourism effective August 1st. Now just like anything regarding COVID travel, this could always change or be delayed but it sounds like it will stick.
Conditions for visiting the islands come with a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.
Before you concern yourself with how to get a test & results within that time frame, Hawaii has a plan. (unconfirmed, but solid sources) state that the Hawaii government will partner with CVS on the US Mainland to create an e-system of test results. You'll just need to go to your nearest CVS location, take the test, and those results will be disclosed to you within hours. You be given email proof of results that you'll be able to show upon arrival in Hawaii. This will allow all visitors to the islands to avoid the two week quarantine in place currently. If you fly over without test results, then you are required to quarantine on arrival for two weeks unless you take test locally on islands and result is negative. Test will not be provided on arrival at the airports.
So you would have to visit a clinic or hospital on the islands and take a test, you are required to quarantine until test results return negative.
Gov. David Ige said the pre-testing plan will allow the tourism industry to reopen without a significant spike in new COVID-19 cases in Hawaii.
“We recognize that there are many concerns that continue,” Ige said.
“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.”
Ige and other administration officials have pointed to a similar model being used in Alaska as proof that a pre-testing requirement can work. Alaska also provides testing upon landing, but Ige said that wasn’t practical for the islands.
Safeguards will be in place, that including contact tracing and widespread testing, will allow Hawaii to “live with the virus.”
“We need to return to welcoming visitors to our shores,” Mayor Caldwell said.
“For the state of Hawaii, we have approximately 240,000 unemployed people. We’re not going to see a return to a level of employment that we had before unless we open up to visitors.”
The plan also includes a travel form, health screening questions, and a temperature check.
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