More post-arrival, secondary testing could be new norm for travel

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Some leaders are requesting the Governor expand testing options, which would add secondary testing after travelers arrive.

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One change Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell wants to make is to add a second-post arrival test for travelers who have an exemption. He’s also asking to do two post-arrival tests for folks who do not have a pre-test at all, with a quarantine time of four days in between. But the one proposal Mayor Caldwell is really hoping to get approved is allowing visitors who have test results pending upon arrival to get a second test in order to get out of quarantine.

“To quarantine until they get their result, and should it be negative, come out of quarantine makes just so much sense to me that I’m hoping at the end of the day common sense will prevail,” the Mayor said.

Mayor Caldwell says he’s concerned that the more travelers who come to Oahu and are forced into quarantine, the bigger the burden becomes on enforcement.

“When there’s now probably 20,000 people in quarantine on Oahu, it becomes almost virtually impossible to enforce quarantine against everyone. So getting people out of quarantine is better than having them breaking quarantine,” said Caldwell.

Lieutenant Governor Josh Green is also looking at tweaking the Safe Travels program as mainland cases are skyrocketing. He’s recommending to add an extra day in advance of travel to Hawaii so people can get their test results on time. There would be a four day window for county mayors to pursue an antigen test on arrival at the state’s expense. Lieutenant Governor Green thinks there should also be a checkbox for people who had COVID-19 or who’ve been vaccinated.

“These are coming on. We’re about to start vaccinating people, so that they also get exempted from the quarantine,” said Green. “We’re just trying really, in my mind, to get through the next two months until we’ve started to vaccinate people and we see our case counts hopefully bottom out.”

Lieutenant Governor Green says he’s hoping changes can be made by Dec. 15.

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