comscore Kokua Line: Hawaii’s pre-travel testing regimen fulfills 2 goals at once for international travelers | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Hawaii’s pre-travel testing regimen fulfills 2 goals at once for international travelers

Question: My daughter is studying abroad. Assuming that she can get home as scheduled, does she follow the new U.S. international testing rule or Hawaii’s rule? Are they the same?

Answer: To return to Honolulu from an international destination, your daughter should follow Hawaii’s pre-travel COVID- 19 testing regimen, which, assuming she receives a negative test result, would allow her to board the plane and avoid Oahu’s 10-day quarantine upon arrival.

The new federal pre-travel testing requirements for international airline passengers arriving anywhere in the United States are not exactly the same as Hawaii’s rules. For example, the federal rule allows the passenger to have a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or an antigen test, while Hawaii does not accept the antigen test. Hawaii accepts only the NAAT, and then only from a designated Trusted Testing and Travel Partner.

The federal rule prevents international passengers (including returning Americans) from boarding a flight without a negative test result, but it would not save your daughter from quarantine upon arrival in Honolulu unless the test also met Hawaii’s requirements.

As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on its website, “Federal testing requirements must be met to board a plane to the US. Some state and local governments may have similar or more restrictive testing requirements for air passengers arriving in their jurisdictions. Always check and follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel in addition to federal requirements.”

Read Hawaii’s rules at hawaiicovid19.com/travel and the federal rules at cdc.gov.

Q: You said they wouldn’t take federal tax debts out of the stimulus, but my dad got a letter saying that’s why he didn’t get a payment.

A: If your father received a Notice CP21C from the Internal Revenue Service saying that all or part of his Economic Impact Payment was used to offset his federal tax debt, that part of the notice was incorrect, the IRS acknowledged Thursday in an update to its website.

“This notice (about an offset) is not accurate for anyone who received it,” the IRS said, apologizing for any confusion and telling recipients to disregard that information.

The agency reiterated what we earlier reported, that the second Economic Impact Payment was not offset for any federal or state tax debts, nor was it offset for past-due child support. The first Economic Impact Payment was offset only for past-due child support, it said.

The IRS said it issued some CP21Cs to alert recipients that they would not be receiving an EIP this round because the agency was unable to process the person’s 2019 tax return in time; this happened mostly to people who filed their taxes by mail. People who got the notice should claim the EIP as a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 tax return if they are eligible, the IRS said.

Also, if you can possibly avoid it, don’t file your 2020 taxes by mail. Anyone who can file electronically is encouraged to do so, to avoid the oft-delayed manual processing associated with paper returns.

Maunalua Bay boat ramp

There’s finally a new loading dock at the Maunalua Bay boat ramp in East Oahu, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced. The old one collapsed in January 2019 and was removed in March of that year. Its replacement was beset by delays, which prompted numerous complaints from readers over the past year or so.

The DLNR said Wednesday that the new $400,000 loading dock was in place and would be ready for use no later than today.


Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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