Thursday, October 15, marked the first day of Hawaii’s travel re-opening day, and a surge of 10,102 passengers arrived by air yesterday at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on the island of Oahu.
Of the 10,102 that arrived, 6,918 (68%) were tourists while the remaining passengers were comprised of 3,184 (32%) residents, as reported by Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Josh Green.
Thursday was a surprise to Hawaii officials who had not anticipated such a large number of air passenger arrivals. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was normal to see passengers arriving daily in the 30,000 range.
Did Everyone Clear Quarantine?
The Lieutenant Governor said in response to the large number of arrivals under Hawaii’s pre-travel test program which began yesterday, that 84% of the passengers cleared quarantine, leaving 1,606 (16%) relegated to going into quarantine. Some passengers arrived without having had a pre-arrivals test or supplying a qualified exemption, so those individuals were instantly put under 14-day quarantine.
What determines being quarantined?
Travelers who come to Hawaii without having taken a pre-arrival test must submit to the mandatory 14-day quarantine, even if they undergo testing after arriving and get a negative result. Travelers who arrive in Hawaii and do not show proof of a negative test must quarantine until the test result is received.
There is also a partial interisland quarantine in effect for the counties of Kauai, Hawaii, Maui, and Kalawao. Maui and Kauai counties do not require visitors to take a second test after arrival, but are providing incentives to visitors who agree to take a free voluntary test 72 hours after arrival. Maui and Kauai counties will also allow interisland travelers to bypass the quarantine if passengers pre-test for COVID-19 72 hours prior to departure under the same rules as the state’s trans-Pacific travel program.
Hawaii island still requires interisland travelers to quarantine. A second test after arrival is required for visitors to Hawaii island, who will take a free rapid test at the airport. If the test is positive, travelers will be given a PCR test and have to quarantine until they get a negative result.