Hawaii’s Testing Program for Incoming Visitors Delayed Until September 1, 2020

Faced with balancing Hawai‘i’s economy with the health and safety of its residents, Governor David Ige announced on Monday that he will delay the launch of the pre-travel testing program for incoming travelers to Hawai‘i. The program, formerly due to begin on August 1, is now scheduled to start on September 1, 2020.

All travelers entering the State of Hawai‘i will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine until September 1. At that point, out-of-state passengers with a negative test result taken within 72 hours of departure to Hawai‘i will be able to bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

What this means for renters, homeowners & out-of-state homebuyers

Out-of-state homebuyers looking to purchase a home in Hawai‘i can continue to view homes using virtual means. Our video channel, 3-D tours, live streaming, and photographs are some of the options Hawai‘i Life agents have been deploying. More info for prospective homebuyers can be found on our FAQ page.

Hawai‘i renters facing financial challenges can breathe a sigh of relief since the current ban on evictions will be extended through the end of August. Hawai‘i homeowners who rely on rental payments to help support the costs of homeownership will have to wait and see.

“We have heard from many on the impact the pandemic has had on the individual ability to pay rent,” Ige told reporters during a press conference held earlier today. The extension is intended to postpone evictions while the U.S. Congress decides whether to fund another round of COVID-19-related financial assistance to Hawai‘i and other states, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

King Kamehameha statue in downtown Honolulu

Why the extension?

Governor Ige will issue a 10th supplementary emergency proclamation in the next few days. He noted that his decision regarding the extension was made in collaboration with all four county mayors in the state. Factored into his decision to delay the pre-travel testing program are several factors, including:

  • Recent increases in new coronavirus cases in Hawai‘i
  • An anticipated uptick in more new cases when Hawai‘i schools reopen in August
  • Uncontrolled recent outbreaks of the coronavirus in some of our state’s main visitor markets on the mainland, including California.*
  • An interruption in Hawai‘i’s supply chain for testing supplies due to recent outbreaks on the U.S. mainland.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to make,” said Governor Ige. “This delay will further hurt our economy, but as I’ve always said – we will make decisions based on the best available science and facts, prioritizing the health and safety of Hawai‘i residents. Our county mayors and I agree this delay is essential to protect our community.”

Once it is launched, the pre-travel testing program will be an important part of the state’s multi-layered screening process to protect residents and visitors, according to the Governor’s press release.

Travelers will be exempt from the state’s 14-day quarantine if they test negative, after taking a COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours in advance of travel to our state. It’s important to note that even after September 1, 2020, no commercial testing will be provided at Hawaiʻi airports. More details regarding the rules expected to govern the test themselves can be found here.

The Hawai‘i State Capitol building in Honolulu, O‘ahu —the official statehouse of the State of Hawai‘i


*(Note that California’s Governor Newsom announced increased restrictions today, as well as rollbacks on the state’s reopening plans, with a view to bringing the virus under control in California.)

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