Maui Business

Government Leaders Suggest Another Delay is Likely for State’s Pre-Travel Testing Program

September 15, 2020, 7:38 AM HST
* Updated September 16, 6:07 AM
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Another delay is likely for the state’s pre-travel testing program, according to the Governor who shared the information during an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Monday.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino also suggested that a delay is likely saying, “To give you time frames are very dangerous at this point; but I would say, we’re hopeful (that) within the next 30-45 days something can start up, but I reserve the right to let the governor make that final announcement.”

Under the program (which has yet to launch), travelers who take a state-approved COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Hawaiʻi can avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine if the test comes back negative for the virus.

The plan was originally set to launch in August, but has already been pushed back twice.  Last month, the governor had said the program could possibly launch on Oct. 1 at the earliest.

On Monday, Gov. Ige told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, “It will probably not be Oct. 1, but in next few days we will be providing a better plan for the scheduling of what those dates will look like.”

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Mayor Victorino said he supports an interisland pre-travel test, which leaders are looking at to gauge effectiveness ahead of launching a program for mainland arrivals.

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“We are completing the interisland to be the prelude for the trans-pacific. So it’s kind of the same testing, but we’re trying to test it interisland first to see how effective we can be with it,” Mayor Victorino said in an afternoon press conference on Monday.

The pre-travel test is considered by many in the visitor industry a key factor in reopening the state to tourism.  Many hotels have been adjusting their reopening dates based on the state’s projections for the program’s launch.

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