Hawaii is reopening its borders this year with plans to allow tourists back on its pristine beaches—as long as they test negative for the virus.
UPDATE (9/17): Hawaii Governor David Ige just announced that, beginning October 15, arriving folks may skip the formerly mandatory 14-day quarantine if testing negative for COVID-19. A FDA-authorized nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) from a CLIA licensed or certified lab must be taken within 72 hours of departure.
UPDATE (8/25): Hawaii is pushing back its reopening date from September 1 to October 1. College students returning to school in Hawaii before September will be exempt from the extended quarantine.
The announcement is a drastic change from the state's previous rule, which mandated a strict 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving on the islands and included a $5,000 fine and jail time as potential penalties for breaking quarantine. Now, starting Oxtober 1, travelers who test negative for the virus no more than 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii and provide negative test results in the airport can avoid quarantine.
The new plan was modeled after a similar one happening in Alaska, although Hawaii will not offer in-airport testing for those who arrive without negative test results. Instead, visitors who don’t take a pre-travel test will be required to abide by the 14-day quarantine.
Even with a negative test result, visitors will also be subject to health screening questions and a temperature check. Hawaii lawmakers have set aside $90 million for thermal screening machines at airports, a web-based traveler information system and supplies.
Confused about traveling in the US? We break down what you can do and should do, per CDC guidelines. Prefer the Atlantic? Check out all the Caribbean islands that are currently open for tourism.
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