New plan to allow Hawaii County travelers to skip quarantine won’t require a pre-test

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Over 10,000 people traveled throughout the state on Thursday, which was the start of Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program.

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This includes over 8,000 people who flew into the state from the mainland. There were also hundreds of residents who took advantage of the pre-travel testing for inter-island travel to Maui County and Kauai County.

Hawaii County is also coming up with its own option.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said that he is currently drafting a plan to allow inter-island travelers to skip quarantine, but the program would work much differently than the other counties.

Unlike the pre-travel testing program, a pre-test at least 72 hours before traveling to the Big Island isn’t required.

“All travelers coming to Hawaii Island will be quarantined for 14 days, as it is now except for exemptions. The difference is that we will make a change that to get out of quarantine, it will be on your choice.”

Harry Kim, Maui County Mayor

He said that people will have to take a PCR test. They will be temporarily allowed out of quarantine to get tested at a site of their choice. Once tested, visitors must return to quarantine until the county receives their results.

“As soon as we can confirm that you’re cleared, you’re off quarantine. So, it’s very probable that the most you’ll stay in quarantine is just one night,” said Mayor Kim.

Mayor Kim said that visitors will have to pay for their own tests. He also added that he will be sending the draft of the plan to the governor on either Sunday or Monday.

Meanwhile, Maui County is making some changes to its travel rules. People traveling to Oahu for medical reasons can be exempt from the quarantine if they travel within the same day or overnight, but they have to have a doctor’s note.

There also won’t be a quarantine for those traveling solely between Maui, Molokai and Lanai.

“We are still one county. We deal as one county,” said Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino. ”Those Lanai [residents] and Molokai [residents] come here to shop, to go to doctors’ visits, to see family, to do other business here in Maui, so we should afford them the same opportunity like any other county.”

Overall, officials said that the new travel changes for both residents and those flying in from outside Hawaii are a work in progress.

“We’re all trying to see what worked, see what maybe didn’t work as well as anticipated, and everybody’s adapting.”

Tim Sakahara, Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesperson.

The Department of Transportation told KHON2 that it is working with the airlines to try to space out flights to cut down on the long lines of travelers waiting to be processed upon arrival.

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