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Hawaii Legislators Push for a Standard Quarantine Protocol

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Traveling to Hawaii has been confusing for travelers. The seven islands had different rules of entry for tourists. However, this could become a thing of the past. Hawaii lawmakers are looking to standardize testing and quarantine procedures across all islands including Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, and Niihau.

The current protocol allows counties to forego Hawaii’s “Safe Travel Program“. This program requires one COVID19 test before departure to Hawaii. Travelers with negative COVID19 results will not have to undergo quarantine. With a non-uniformed travel protocol, some require travelers to undergo 10-day quarantine or implement more screening requirements.

On the island of Kauai, visitors have to show two negative COVID19 results before they can end quarantine. There is also a workaround offered by Kauai. The first option is to get a negative pre-travel COVID19 test and spend three days on another island before going to Kauai. The second option allows travelers to enjoy a “resort bubble” quarantine. The resort is a county-approved facility. Here, you can get your second COVID19 test and interact with the rest of the community after a negative result.

Hawaii’s Proposed Standard Protocol

The bill will make counties allow travelers to skip quarantine once they have a single negative COVID19 test.

Cheryl Williams, in charge of sales and marketing of Highgate Hotels in Hawaii, mentioned that the current protocol “has led to significant confusion”. She added that it further harmed the industry.

One of the challenges faced by Hawaii is that some testing labs were unable to come up with test results on time. According to Hawaii’s Department of Health, that becomes problematic.

Dr. Sarah Kemble who works as Hawaii’s acting state epidemiologist said that people will “still need accommodations for quarantine until that negative test result can be obtained”. On top of that, they also have to deal with people who try to hide a positive result.

Health officials are cautious about the possibility of cases rising again because of the COVID19 variants. There were at least three UK COVID19 variant cases recorded in Hawaii. These cases involved residents with no travel history.

 

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