The Hawaii governor announced Wednesday that the 14-day state quarantine requirement for out-of-state visitors in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak will include a pre-trip testing option beginning August 1.
Democratic Governor David Ige said the review would help the state’s vital tourism industry recover without posing a significant risk in new coronavirus cases, Hawaii News Now reported.
“We recognize that there are many concerns that continue,” Ige said at a press conference. “We believe this pre-testing process allows us to bring travelers back to Hawaii in a way that maintains a priority in the health and safety of our community.”
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“We believe this pre-testing process allows us to bring travelers back to Hawaii in a way that maintains a priority in the health and safety of our community.”
Ige announced the policy review when the state faced a lawsuit over the original policy. That legal action, filed by residents of Nevada and California, claimed that Hawaii’s quarantine policy represented “a violation of the right to travel.”
The lawsuit has been supported by the US Department of Justice. The US, which said in a statement that state governments “cannot limit the right of Americans from other states to travel to their state unless doing so is substantially related to the protection of public safety.”
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According to Hawaii’s review, as of August 1, out-of-state travelers can avoid the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement if they can provide proof of a negative test for coronavirus within 72 hours of travel, it reported. Hawaii News Now.
Those unable to present evidence of a negative test will still have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Hawaii, the Honolulu star advertiser reported.
A similar pretest program in Alaska shows the plan can work, Ige said, according to Hawaii News Now. Alaska also provides tests for passengers upon landing there, but Ige said that was not a practical plan for Hawaii.
It was not immediately clear whether the planned August 1 review would have an effect on the lawsuit filed against Hawaii’s quarantine rule.
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The Hawaii State Attorney General’s Office has defended the policy, and “subsequent proclamations were properly and legally issued in accordance with the Governor’s legal authority and his determination that an emergency exists due to the COVID-19 pandemic. and the danger and threat it poses to Hawaii. “
As of Wednesday, Hawaii had confirmed 835 coronavirus cases with 686 recoveries, and recorded 17 deaths, the Star Advertiser reported. The state’s figures were among the lowest in the nation.