Kauai Will Require Additional Testing as Hawaii Quarantine-Free Reopening Starts
UPDATE 10/6/20 – The Governor refused the mayors proposal and said that Kauai will follow the same procedures as everyone else.
Hawaii is finally set to lift its mandatory quarantine rules for visitors who can prove they do not have the coronavirus with a recent negative test results. Hawaii Gov. David Ige has announced that starting October 15, travelers arriving from out of state don’t have to quarantine if they have proof of a negative test within 72 hours of arrival.
Several airlines are expected to offer testing for passengers once the new rules go into effect. American, United, Hawaiian and Southwest have all said they will have tests ready for the reopening.
But one of the islands has already stated that it will impose additional requirements on visitors. Kauai’s Mayor Derek Kawakami wants arriving travelers to receive a second test, after they’ve remained restricted to their designated resort bubble for the first three days. If the second test comes back negative, visitors will no longer need to wear electronic monitoring devices and will be permitted to move about the island freely.
Kauai’s Mayor Derek Kawakami said he has petitioned the governor for permission to implement his plan. The county has had only 59 cases since the start of the pandemic. Kawakami said that his county is ready to implement the program on October 15, and is just waiting for the governor to sign off, Hawaii News Now reports.
Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor Josh Green has estimated that only one in 1,000 arrivals might still bring the virus onto the islands, if they they test negative within 72 hours of arrival. Kauai’s mayor thinks that’s not good enough and that the island needs a second layer of protection. A passenger who is COVID-free three days prior to travel could still have contracted the virus before landing in Hawaii.