We’re only a week away from Hawaii’s announced October 15 re-opening. The state has said they’d allow arriving passengers to skip 14-day quarantine with a negative Covid-19 test from the past 72 hours. Airlines including United, Hawaiian, Alaska and American have set up testing regimes to help open up travel to the islands.
Already Hawaii’s plan is partially unraveling.
- Hawaii’s Big Island has opted out of the pre-travel testing program, and will still require 14 day quarantine on arrival at Kona
- Maui won’t yet say whether they’ll allow arriving passengers to skip quarantine with a negative test
- While Hawaii’s governor has overruled Kauai’s plan to require quarantine pending a second negative test 3 days after arrival.
Hawaii island Mayor Harry Kim said he is opting out of the state’s pre-travel testing program starting on Oct. 15, which means mainland visitors going to the Big Island still will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
…On Monday, Gov. David Ige gave each county the option to opt out of the program that would allow travelers who test negative to avoid the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine, after denying Kauai County’s proposal to establish a post-travel testing program to supplement the state’s program.
…Brian Perry, spokesman for Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino, declined to say whether the county would be participating in the state’s pre-travel testing program, but said it is “continuing to work on these issues with the governor.”
I’ve written that one of the biggest barriers to travel now is regime uncertainty. It’s not clear when buying a ticket for a destination that’s supposed to be open whether it will be open when it comes time to travel. Or whether a new quarantine requirement might be imposed but someone’s home state, so they’ll have to isolate themselves for two weeks on their return. Specific rules keep changing and that makes it nearly impossible to plan ahead, and even to travel when the departure date arrives because rules may change during a trip.
Hawaii’s rules have changed every single time they’ve announced a plan for re-opening. Here anyone that trusted the Governor’s October 15 re-opening plan inending to travel to the Big Island, despite past announcements not coming to fruition, now finds themselves potentially a week away from their trip with the rug pulled out from under them. And will they even hear of the change before showing up to the airport to fly to Kona?
Meanwhile restrictions on inter-island travel remain in place through the end of October, so it’s not clear what will be possible for visitors looking to travel to multiple islands such as visiting a major tourist locale and more remote destinations. The pandemic yo-yo continues…
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