Kauai requesting state travel mandate be made stricter

Coronavirus

LIHUE, Hawaii (KHON2) — Kauai county is pushing for additional measures that would require travelers to have their test results before coming to the island. Lieutenant Governor Josh Green supports the idea saying it could help the county’s current problem with having people fly over while results are still pending and later learning they have COVID-19 after landing.

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Kauai County is reporting one new travel related case.

“It has the effect of strongly limiting the number of people that are willing to come. They have to take a lot of extra time preparing,” Lieutenant Governor Green said.

But there could be a chance some may not get their results in time. Results could also take longer to process because of the surge of cases on the mainland. Lieutenant Governor Green says the state added a large number of trusted partners to help solve this problem.


“While we cannot mandate test results pre-departure as a condition to entry into Hawaii, we can require test results pre-departure as a condition to not being in 14 day traveler quarantine. The airlines or the federal government could institute their own thoughtful restrictions on who may board an airline at all during a pandemic.”

Office of the Hawaii Attorney General

Nine travelers on Kauai reportedly took a pre-travel test, boarded the plane without a result and arrived on the island only to learn they were positive for the virus. Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami said that is unacceptable and is requesting the state implement effective changes. He’s also considering a local rule if it doesn’t happen at the state level.

“We have nine ICU beds. Our margin of error is very thin,” Mayor Kawakami said. “The ability for a traveler to have a negative test result in hand before they venture off to Hawaii and land here is of critical importance.”

Decisions have not been finalized, but Green hopes to get this proposal squared away before Thanksgiving.

“We’re expecting significant travel increases on the 19th and 20th. That’s when it’s going to start creeping up so now is the time,” said the Lt. Governor.

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