Travelers can finally return to Hawaii starting next month.
Beginning Oct. 15, visitors can travel to the islands if they take a coronavirus test and test negative within 72 hours of their arrival in the state, or go into a 14-day quarantine once they arrive.
Gov. David Ige, D, announced plans for the pre-travel testing program at a news conference this week.
Ige said pharmacy chain CVS and health-care provider Kaiser Permanente will offer tests as part of an agreement with the state. In a news release, the state said only FDA-approved coronavirus tests known as nucleic acid amplification tests are approved as part of Hawaii’s travel program.
Travelers also must have their temperature checked upon arrival and complete a travel and health form.
If their test results aren’t available upon arrival, visitors must remain in quarantine until they get the result, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said during the news conference. Green joined virtually because he recently tested positive for the disease and said he is isolating at home.
Green said the new travel program will be an economic boost for the state “when so many people are suffering.”
The state has been effectively closed to visitors amid the pandemic, which has had a devastating economic impact.
“I worry about the long-term impacts of economic distress and that impact it’s had on our people when they can’t afford their homes as easily or their groceries or their health care,” Green said. “So this is an important announcement the governor has made today.”
Hawaii last month delayed the reopening of the state to mainland travelers. The August postponement was the second time Hawaii delayed its reopening to out-of-state travelers in 2020.