Starting Jan. 26, the CDC will require universal COVID testing for all passengers on international flights to the U.S.
Travelers visiting Maui, the second-most-popular vacation destination in Hawaii after Oahu, will soon have to take a second COVID-19 test to bypass the state’s mandatory quarantine.
The test, which will be free and conducted upon arrival at the airport, will begin as soon as the end of April, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino said at a news conference Wednesday.
“The post-arrival test will allow Maui County to determine if current safeguards are effective in preventing the introduction of new COVID cases, especially as new variants are being identified on the US mainland and around the world,” he said.
Travelers will be given advance notice of the requirements.
The test will be in addition to the state’s requirement, in place since October, that travelers test negative for COVID within 72 hours of their flight to Hawaii to bypass the mandatory quarantine. Those test results must be uploaded prior to the flight. Those who don’t have results when they land must quarantine. The initial quarantine period was 14 days but has since been reduced to 10 days.
When do new Maui travel restrictions begin?
Victorino said Maui officials are still working out details of the new testing program, including the selection of a medical provider to conduct the tests.
The tests will be rapid tests, he said, with the goal of delivering results in 15 or 30 minutes. Tourists and residents returning from out of state will be required to take the test to bypass a strict 10-day quarantine.
“We don’t want people waiting around a long time,” Victorino said.”We want to release those that are negative, let them get on with their vacation or get on with their travels if they’re residents going home.”
What happens to those who test positive? Victorino said those details are also still being finalized.
Will fully vaccinated travelers be exempt from new Maui COVID testing requirement
Maui’s new restrictions, which are similar to an earlier testing-upon-arrival requirement on the Big Island of Hawaii, come as the state is expected to announce that vaccinated travelers will soon be exempt from COVID testing and quarantine requirements.
Hawaii Governor David Ige signed an emergency proclamation late last week and details are expected soon.
People who are fully vaccinated would be able to avoid coronavirus testing and quarantine by uploading valid vaccination documents to the state’s Safe Travels Program or showing documents in person.
Maui County spokesman Brian Perry said exempting vaccinated Maui visitors from the new requirement is “under consideration.”
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