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Pre-testing Progam Would Allow Hawaii Travelers To Avoid Strict Quarantine
A pre-testing program for travelers heading to Hawaii would allow them to avoid the state’s mandatory quarantine.
Back in March, Hawaii Gov. David Y. Ige announced one of the country’s most strict stay-at-home measures that required all passengers to quarantine for 14 days.
Failure to follow the state’s order is a misdemeanor and punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both, Gov. Ige said.
But beginning Aug. 1, travelers who test negative for coronavirus no more than 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii will not have to quarantine for 14 days.
Gov. Ige said the pre-testing program will allow the tourism industry to reopen without a significant spike in new COVID-19 cases.
“We recognize that there are many concerns that continue,” Ige told local reporters. “We believe this process of pre-testing does allow us to bring travelers back to Hawaii in a way that maintains a priority on the health and safety of our community.”
Even with the new pre-testing program, a travel form, health screening questions, and a temperature check will still be required.
Local leaders announced at a news conference that the state has put $90 million for thermal screening machines at airports, a web-based traveler information system, and supplies.
News of a pre-testing program comes on the cusp of a legal battle between the state and the federal government.
In a court filing, the U.S. Justice Dept called Hawaii’s mandatory quarantine orders unconstitutional and said it discriminated against non-residents.