The State of Hawaii is now set to accept national and international visitors who have had a CoVid-19 pretest within 72 hours of arriving in Hawaii.
Travelers who complete an FDA-approved nasal swab COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their flight arrival in Hawaii and are able to produce evidence of negative test results will be eligible to forego the state's 14-day quarantine instructions.
In addition to the test results, travelers to Hawaii must undergo a health screening process and temperature checks upon arrival. Before boarding their flights, they must fill out travel and health forms, which will provide a QR code to speed up the arrivals process.
Maui County saw average daily arrivals jump to 2,447 in the first four days since the state launched it's pre-travel COVID-19 testing program on Oct. 15. That's up from the average daily 530 travelers logged in the 12 days prior between Oct. 3 and 14, before the reopening program took effect; but less than half of the 5,590 average daily domestic arrivals reported in Maui County over the same four days last year.
While the first half of the month was dominated by residential arrivals, a stark shift to visitor arrivals occurred upon the program's launch.
Under the program, trans-Pacific travelers can take a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a testing partner approved by the state within 72 hours from the final leg of departure to Hawai'i; and if given a negative result for COVID-19, are allowed to bypass the state's 14-day mandatory quarantine.
Over the Friday to Sunday (Oct. 16 to 19) weekend travel period, a total of 8,247 passengers arrived in Maui County, according to data from the State of Hawai'i Safe Travels Application. This included 6,401 visitors and 1,946 residents.
The breakdown by destination included: 5,435 arriving in Kahului; 61 landing in Moloka'i; and 23 traveling to Lana'i City Airport.
Based on airport screening and temperature checks over the three day period, 99.9% of travelers arrived healthy to Maui County; 83% arrived with a negative pre-departure test; 17% of travelers stopped in transit; 12% of travelers were required to quarantine (including travelers awaiting their pre-departure test results); and 5% were inter-county travelers with work exemptions.
Maui Managing Director Sandy Baz said, only a very small percentage of travelers coming into Maui County had elevated temperature or self-reported that they weren't feeling well. These travelers are ordered to follow all directions from the State Department of Health's Maui District Health Office.
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino addressed public concerns about reports of long lines at the airport holding area. The main reason is the number of people coming off the planes, especially when we have a compact of three or four flights within a two hour period of time. They're getting 150-200 people coming off of a plane, some within 10-20 minutes of each other.
All travelers must follow the County of Maui's Public Health Emergency Rules which includes the mandatory use of face masks in public. The County of Maui provided the following highlights: