• Hawai'i House Democrats

House Select Committee on COVID-19 Issues White Paper on State's Pre-Travel Testing Program


Committee members ask that Safe Travels program be modified to improve safety, increase economic gains made by reopening tourism

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – The House Select Committee on COVID-19 Economic and Financial Preparedness sent a proposal to Governor David Ige and the Mayors of all four counties to modify the State's Safe Travels Hawaiʻi Program which requires travelers coming to Hawaiʻi have a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their plane.

Researched and developed by the Strategy and Communications and Public Health subcommittees, the proposal recommends that the pre-travel testing program be modified to allow travelers who have diligently complied with the 72 hour pre-arrival testing requirement but do not have a result in hand prior to their departure, be exempt from the self-quarantine requirement if they (1) have a negative rapid test result completed upon arrival in Hawaii and (2) produce a negative result from their original pre-travel test when received.

The report states that the pre-arrival testing program has been an "unqualified success," because it has protected our residents from a health standpoint and has helped jumpstart our sagging economy. The report says that the ongoing uncontrolled surge of COVID-19 on the mainland "requires us to innovate to adapt the program to continue to keep us safe, while continuing to support our local economy."

"So far, the program is working, and with a few enhancements, the committee believes it can be improved and some of the confusion about the program can be eliminated," said House Speaker Scott K. Saiki. "We want to maintain communication with the Governor, the Mayors and other stakeholders to share information and perspectives and make sure the health and safety of the people of Hawaiʻi is protected."

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