The state of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu have begun assisting about 800 American Samoan residents, who are traveling through Oahu en route to their previously shuttered island home.
American Samoa — the U.S. territory about 1,600 miles from New Zealand and 2,200 miles from Hawaii — closed its borders in March stranding residents in Hawaii and other states across the country.
Stranded travelers can now return home to American Samoa, but first they’ll stop in Hawaii where they’ll undergo COVID testing before departure. They’ll also quarantine for 10 days at the White Sands Hotel in Waikiki before departure.
Government officials assisting in the effort to return stranded American Samoa residents to their homes will take over a section of the Waikiki Shell parking lot on Monsarrat Avenue for screening purposes Monday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and again on Feb. 7 and Feb. 22.
“We appreciate the patience and understanding of our island community as we provide these public facilities to assist are American Samoa ohana in their much anticipated journey back home,” city officials said in a release.