(BIVN) – As of June 16, the inter-island travel quarantine will be no more.
Hawaiʻi state officials held a news conference today at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu to make the announcement.
“This is an important step for everyone living in Hawai‘i,” said Governor David Ige. “It will help reunite families and friends who have been separated due to the pandemic. And it’s an important step for the reopening of our kama‘aina economy.”
“Today we had no cases,” noted Dr. Bruce Anderson, the director of the Hawaiʻi Department of Health. “We’re clearly in a situation where the disease is under control. As the governor pointed out, we have everything in place. We’re ready for the travelers who come through.”
At this point in time, a date has not been set for the lifting of the quarantine for residents and visitors traveling to Hawai‘i from out of state.
“There are going to be new systems in place that people should be prepared to encounter,” said Hawaiʻi Attorney General Clare Connors. “That’s part of the reason we know have a couple of weeks for everybody to get used to what they might experience.”
The Office of the Attorney General says:
The key components of the new system will include thermal screening at state airports for everyone who travels between islands. Additionally, all travelers will be required to fill out a new travel form that will help health officials track and respond to new coronavirus cases. More details on what’s required will be released soon along with the new travel form.
“Part of that process was developing a new form that went through at least a dozen iterations,” said Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation spokesperson Tim Sakahara. “The main difference between the former arriving passenger forms is the interisland form asks for health related information.” Sakahara says the information will be used by the health department in case health experts need to follow up or contact a traveler. The DOT says key points of the process include:
- Temperature screening area (elevated temp of 100.4 degrees or greater, no fly)
- Passenger verification before TSA checkpoints for completing of turning in forms
- Forms collected and information verified
- Anyone reporting symptoms to undergo additional screening and/or testing
Refusal to complete the mandatory forms or being on the traveler 14-day quarantine list will disqualify someone from flying, the DOT says. Forms are mandatory for all flight segments, even on the same day.
Lieutenant Gov. Josh Green said during today’s news briefing that people should not be scared to go out. “As long as people continue to wear masks, practice good social distancing and hand hygiene, everyone should feel comfortable getting out… to their doctor’s to maintain their health, to visit friends and family in groups of fewer than 10 people and to visit their favorite local restaurants,” Green said.
Lt. Gov. Green added that people are likely to see some increases in coronavirus cases in Hawai‘i over the next few weeks and months, but people should not be alarmed. “This is the nature of living with COVID-19 until we see major progress on a treatment or vaccine,” Green said.