Lt. Gov. Josh Green joined the COVID-19 Care Conversation to talk about the reopening of trans-Pacific travel and the new pre-arrival testing plan.
Green said that in the next 10 days there will be clear guidelines on the formal policy for pre-arrival testing. As of right now, state officials are still working to confirm details. Green believes the state’s agreement with CVS Pharmacy, which has 1,400 locations nationwide, will be finalized soon.
“We have no problems with them,” he said. “We are just finalizing the details.” He also shared that the state is in talks with Walgreens and Kaiser as well as national laboratories.
In order to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine, prospective visitors who plan to travel to Hawaii will need to produce a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival. Currently, the state does not have the capacity to test all potential visitors on arrival. Prior to the pandemic, Hawaii saw an average of 30,000 visitors per day, which is six times the state’s current testing capacity at 5,000 tests per day. Green said that if the number of visitors who arrive without pre-testing are low enough, the state could consider setting up testing on arrival.
When asked about international travelers, Green shared that Gov. David Ige is working on partnerships with specific countries that have a low virus rate, such as Japan. With regard to other countries, Green said that as long as the pre-arrival test is a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, it will be accepted. “The universal language is science,” he said.
At the moment Green could not share details on the age requirements for pre-arrival testing. In his opinion, individuals age 12 and older should be tested.
According to Green, the state plans to do a public service announcement and campaign to share the rules and protocols. In addition, a list of approved testing locations as well as test details will be posted online in the coming days. “It’s really simple,” he said. “You get a test within three days of arrival to Hawaii and then when it’s negative, you come in and have your vacation.”
Watch here and comment through our Facebook page. Join us Monday when Ige will be our guest.
Join the COVID-19 Care Conversation, live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji will discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.
The COVID-19 Care Conversation, sponsored by Hawai’i Executive Collaborative and Hawaii Pacific Health, airs live every weekday at 10:30 a.m. on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji discuss the latest news, resources and community concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Hawaii.