Gov: Hawaii residents still shouldn’t travel when tourism opens

Coronavirus

Gov. David Ige says he still does not think it’s a good idea for Hawaii residents to travel just for fun. It seems contradictory because he’s asking visitors to travel here.

“I know that might sound hypocritical because we’re trying to encourage others to travel here for a vacation. But we do believe also that Hawaii is a safe destination and we want to keep it that way,” said Ige.

He says that’s why it’s important that visitors and returning Hawaii residents get tested within three days before departure. CVS and other companies will provide the tests.

Ige says the cost to the traveler, will be $140 plus another $20 for administration fees. Right now, the state is looking at using the PCR, otherwise known as the swab test. But others are being considered.

“We want to be able to evaluate them all and decide which ones are high accuracy and reliable. And those are the ones we would want to accept,” said Ige.

He says getting the results within that 72-hour window is doable. The state is also working with local labs to set up a reliable database for results.

“They’re all part of a testing network of laboratories and we are definitely reaching out, you know, to a lot of hospitals and HMSA has gone to electronic records,” said Ige.

He adds that he doesn’t like the idea of getting residents tested here before they go on short trips. So the same rules will apply for visitors and residents. And they all should plan ahead to get their tests. Ige says he expects to have test sites on the mainland widely available.

“So that they would allow someone who shows up saying, ‘Hey, we are planning a trip to Hawaii. This is my departure date. I need to come in within 72 hours, get the sample taken,'” said Ige.

The governor says he’s also working with hotels and airlines to have more flexible cancellation policies, in case travelers get symptoms at the last minute.

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