This week Maui’s mayor announced new post-arrival testing at the airport. What is this all about?
As you (should) know by now, when flying to Hawaii there is a mandatory 10 day quarantine for all arrivals. You can bypass this quarantine by taking a pre-arrival test up to 72 hours prior to the last leg of your flight into Hawaii. For much more information on all this, please check the official State of Hawaii Covid Travel website.
On Maui our Covid numbers have been a bit elevated since around Christmas. The Health authorities and mayor say it’s community-based. However, with the dramatic increase in tourism (6000-8000 arrivals/day the past few weeks), community pushback and blaming both arriving visitors and returning residents for the higher numbers and new variants has grown.
Maui’s mayor asked the Governor and received the State’s official ok to introduce a second mandatory post-arrival test. Details are not really available yet as they are still figuring things out. Here’s what we know so far
- Mandatory on arrival at the airport for trans-Pacific flights
- Free to the traveler (paid for by the County of Maui)
- If traveler tests positive, they will need to quarantine
What is unclear at this time:
- What about false-positives? Will it be followed up by another test (while you and your fellow travelers quarantine)?
- Airport logistics when you have multiple large trans-Pacific flights arriving at the same time.
This week Maui County opened vaccinations to all residents 16+. It is my hope that with increased vaccinations our numbers will go down and that this post-arrival test will be short-lived.
No vaccination passports at this time
As of now there is no exemption to all the testing for those who have been vaccinated. The Lt Governor heads up the Covid task force for Hawaii and would like to see a vaccination passport implemented soon. However, the Governor recently announced that his priority is to vaccinate residents and not to expect a vaccination passport until later in the summer.