State plans to have out-of-state visitors test before departing or quarantine when they arrive

Coronavirus

As the state gears up to restart the tourism industry, visitors will be required to get tested or they have to go on 14-day quarantine when they arrive. Sources say that is the plan that the governor will be announcing this week.

Gov. David Ige has said that he is looking at similar measures Alaska already has in place, which require testing to be done three days before departure. But sources say Hawaii will not give visitors the option of getting tested when they arrive here.

That’s because Hawaii is expected to have so many more visitors, and having them tested when they arrive would lead to congestion.

As to who will do the testing, Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who is spearheading the effort to open tourism, has said in the past that CVS Pharmacy is seriously interested as a partner. Sources say test results will be safely secured in a database, which the airlines can then access. And if a passenger’s result is negative for Covid-19, then they can get on the plane.

Hotel workers are eagerly waiting for tourists to come back. And they say testing visitors is a good step, but the hotels also need to do more.

“The union thinks very positively at testing for everybody. I think at the moment the union thinks there’s work to be done here in Hawaii,” said Matthew Yasuda, a Local 5 hotel worker.

The union is trying to negotiate with the hotels to be able to put together safety protocols for the workers. That includes testing them before they return to work.

“Be able to say probably to guests who are coming in, ‘Thank you for being tested on your side.’ But we want to ensure that we can tell them that we have been tested as well,” said Yasuda.

Sources say the state plans to open tourism by the end of July.

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