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Hawaii Changes Pre-Travel Testing Rules

Beginning Nov. 24, travelers must have negative COVID-19 test results in hand prior to departure

The governor of Hawaii has announced that beginning Nov. 24, passengers flying to the islands using a pre-travel testing program will be required to have negative COVID-19 test results in hand prior to departure in order to avoid quarantine.

Otherwise the travelers will be subject to the state’s 14-day quarantine requirements, even if the pre-travel test results come back negative after their arrival.

Making the announcement, Gov. David Ige said, “If test results are not available before boarding the final leg of their trip, the traveler must quarantine for 14 days or the length of the stay, whichever runs shorter.”

The pre-travel testing program launched Oct. 15 by several airlines allowed arriving passengers who had been tested prior to departure to upload their negative test results to a state database, meaning they only had to quarantine until the negative results came in and were verified.

However, since the programs launched, at least 44 travelers have reportedly come to the state with pending test results that were later found to be positive for COVID-19. “We have to close the gap to ensure everyone’s safety,” Ige said in the news conference.

Under the new rules, only travelers who can skip the 14-day quarantine are those who already have negative results from the correct type of COVID-19 test administered no more than 72 hours in advance from one of the state’s trusted testing partners. Find a complete list here. 

During the same news conference, Ige also announced that the pre-travel testing program would be expanded to include Canadian travelers.