Maui Post-Arrival COVID-19 Testing Soft Launch Begins at Kahului Airport
Maui County’s new post-arrival testing program for unvaccinated trans-Pacific arrivals from the continental US debuted on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, with hundreds of travelers undergoing rapid COVID-19 testing at Kahului Airport.
Tuesday’s effort was described as a “soft-launch.” Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said, “We wanted to test-drive our logistics plan in real-life before finalizing operations. Our goal is to make the post-arrival test as quick and hassle-free at possible.”
He said the test is intended to prevent the introduction of new COVID-19 variants, that are considered to be more contagious.
Medical testing is managed and administered by Doctors of Waikīkī, which won the bid and is now under contract with the County of Maui. County officials say the cost of the rapid COVID-19 test per traveler is $25.
County officials say the program’s total cost is contingent upon the duration of the program, number of tests administered and the percentage of fully-vaccinated travelers exempted from the post-arrival test.
Governor Ige’s 18th proclamation mandates that any test administered after arrival into the state shall be paid for, and administered by, the counties.
Dr. Alan Wu, medical director and co-founder of Doctors of Waikīkī, said, “We were quite pleased with testing operations today. We saw very few glitches, but overall everything ran smoothly. We will adjust our procedures to expedite travelers through the process so they can receive their test results quickly and go about their business. We were pleasantly surprised at the number of passengers who said they were grateful for the extra precaution.”
Of the hundreds of travelers who received the rapid COVID-19 antigen test on Tuesday, county officials say there were no positive results. Approximately one third of arriving passengers, with proof of full vaccination, were exempt from the post-arrival test.
“I am happy to hear there were no positive cases detected on our first day,” Mayor Victorino said. “Our new testing program has already met my expectations. I understand that most passengers were able to go from the arrival gate, to receiving test results, to leaving the airport within 20-25 minutes.”
The post-arrival test is for both visitors and returning residents who arrive directly from a mainland gateway city into Kahului Airport. Maui County will provide an exception for fully vaccinated trans-Pacific travelers from the post-arrival rapid COVID test requirement with proof of vaccination. They will still need to take a pre-departure test to receive the travel quarantine exception.
- Trans-Pacific travel include direct travel from a mainland city to Kahului Airport. Visitors and returning residents traveling from a mainlandcity to Kahului Airport are subject to this test.
- Maui County soft-launch for post-arrival COVID-19 rapid test program for trans-Pacific travelers begins today, May 4, 2021
- A Safe Travels pre-departure COVID test required, plus…
- NEW post-arrival rapid COVID-19 test required for unvaccinated travelers
- Travelers must complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine if post-arrival test is refused even if they completed the pre-departure test.
- Fully vaccinated travelers with proof (valid vaccination cards), will be exempt from the post-arrival testing requirement
- This is a Maui County program
INTER-COUNTY VACCINE TRAVEL PROTOCOL PROGRAM, STARTS MAY 11
On another note, the state starts its inter-island vaccine travel protocol program a week from today on May 11, 2021. Under that program, fully vaccinated travelers who received their vaccine in Hawaiʻi may travel inter-county without having to take a pre-travel test or quarantining for 10 days.
- This is for travel within Hawaiʻi from Oʻahu, Kauaʻi or Big Island to any Maui County airport
- The inter-island vaccine travel protocol program is expected to begin May 11, 2021
- Residents who were fully vaccinated in Hawaiʻi will be exempt from the pre-departure test and quarantine requirements for inter- county travel
- Unvaccinated, those vaccinated out-of-state, and minors ages 6-16, remain subject to Safe Travels requirements which include a pre-departure test or 10-day quarantine
- Documents will be verified by the state
- Upload vaccination documents to Safe Travels program starting on May 7
- Travel within Maui County is unrestricted (Maui-Molokaʻi-Lānaʻi)
- State of Hawaiʻi program