The Big Island Launches Strict Entry Rules

Hawaii Governor issues 14th Emergency Proclamation during COVID-19 pandemic
hawaii surfer on a big wave

Hawai’i Governor David Ige announced he signed the 14th Supplementary Emergency Proclamation that extends the COVID-19 emergency through November 30, 2020.

As previously announced, this new proclamation issued on October 13, 2020, leaves in place the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers. 

However, beginning October 15th, a pre-travel testing option will allow travelers an alternative to the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Travelers, 5-years of age and older, who do not want to be subject to the state’s 14-day mandatory travelers quarantine must take an approved COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure from the final leg of travel. If results are not received prior to arrival, the traveler will be required to self-quarantine until a negative test result is reported to the Hawai’i Department of Health.

“I want to remind all travelers that following safe practices – at home, while traveling, and upon returning – is the only way to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. David Ige.

The proclamation allows counties to require a subsequent test after arrival into the state. Such a test would be paid for and administered by the county. People arriving in a county that requires a post-arrival test do not need to self-quarantine prior to obtaining the subsequent test. 

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or who anyone who tests positive at any point in their stay must take steps to isolate or quarantine as directed by the Department of Health.

Furthermore, the inter-island quarantine for travelers arriving in the counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui, and Kalawao (Kalaupapa) remains in place. 

However, the new proclamation empowers the counties to adopt a negative test exception process for travelers subject to the inter-island travel quarantine.

Hawai‘i County will implement the strictest policy, requiring an antigen test for all arriving trans-Pacific travelers, reported Max Dible, the News Director for both Big Island Now.

This will be a second test following the mandatory test required at least 72-hours before any travel to Hawai‘i from the US mainland.

The Big Island secondary tests will be administered at all (3) Hawai’i Island airports: Ellison Onizuka International Airport at Keahole, Waimea-Kohala Airport, and Hilo International Airport.

“This second test upon arrival to Hawai’i Island will provide an extra layer of protection for our community,” Big Island Mayor Harry Kim stated. “Virtually all medical and coronavirus experts agree for the necessity of more than one test.”

The cost of the rapid COVID-19 arrival test will be borne by Hawai‘i County via federal CARES Act funding. Testing will be managed by the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency staff and administered by Premier Medical Group Hawai’i.

This antigen test will provide results within 15-20 minutes. If a traveler tests negative for COVID-19, they will not be subject to self-quarantine. Those testing positive for COVID-19 will be required to take a subsequent PCR test immediately and will be required to self-quarantine per state Department of Health rules while awaiting the results of this test, which can be expected within 36-hours.

For more information on the State of Hawaiʻi’s pre-travel testing program, visit COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

As of October 14, 2020, international travelers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prohibited countries are still banned from entering Hawaii. With specific exceptions, foreign nationals who have been in any of the following countries during the past 14-days may not enter the USA.

Vax-Before-Travel publishes research-based healthy travel news.