Neighbor Island Mayors Join Forces in Seeking Two-Test Policy for Travelers to Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim joins fellow neighbor island mayors Michael Victorino of Maui and Derek Kawakami of Kaua‘i in pushing for a second COVID-19 test for incoming travelers to Hawai‘i.
Mayor Kim said on Tuesday he wants to establish a round of post-travel testing as well as pre-travel testing for COVID-19, to ensure the safety of the community as Hawai‘i tries to reopen amid the pandemic.
“I just don’t think we should take the risk with one COVID-19 test taken up to three days before travelling,” Mayor Kim said. “There are so many variables involved in a pre-travel test that could make the tests unreliable; we have to have a second test upon arrival in Hawai‘i.”
The number of potential positive cases being introduced to the community would pose too high of a risk, Mayor Kim said. Approximately 2,000 visitors are coming to Hawai‘i every day, with an estimated 5,000 arrivals a day once the one-test policy goes into effect.
Mayor Kim said he and the other three mayors on Tuesday discussed a two-test policy for transpacific travel, instead of the policy that goes into effect on Oct. 15, whereby a single negative result of a test taken up to three days before travel would eliminate the need to quarantine for 14 days.
“We need time to work out the logistics of administering a second test, but it will be worth it,” Mayor Kim said. He said a definitive decision would be forthcoming this week.
Currently, all travelers arriving in Hawai‘i must quarantine for 14 days after arrival from the Mainland. Interisland travel from O‘ahu and between the Neighbor Islands is also subject to the 14-day quarantine.