(BIVN) – Mayor Harry Kim has signed an amendment and extension to his COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 12, which provides inter-island travelers to Hawai‘i island with choices to avoid quarantine.
The rule change brings the County of Hawaiʻi in line with the statewide inter-island pre-travel test policy.
The new system goes into effect on Wednesday, October 21.
County officials say the rule changes will enable inter-island travelers to either test for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before traveling to the Big Island, or they can choose to be tested during their 14 day self-quarantine after arrival. A negative post-arrival test would then allow the traveler to be released from quarantine.
“The new system allows people to determine how long or if they’ll be quarantined,” said Mayor Harry Kim in a Tuesday news release. “We wanted to come up with a policy that would address the current system’s problems, such as the large number of people that had to be quarantined for 14 days and the inability of the County to monitor and enforce the quarantine policies.”
“This new policy is simpler, more sustainable and gives people a choice,” Mayor Kim said. “It will also lessen the number of people under quarantine.”
The Amendment No. 2 to Mayor Kim COVID-19 Emergency Rule No. 12, which was signed on October 18, also explains that inter-island travelers seeking a modified self-quarantine or exemption from the self-quarantine requirements must receive approval from the County of Hawaiʻi.
Also, on travel for medical purposes, the rule states:
Persons who travel outside of Hawaiʻi Island for medical purposes will not be subject to quarantine upon their return to Hawaiʻi Island, as long as they submit a request to the County via the above online format and provide their flight itinerary, licensed physician letter or certification with the date(s) of appointments that are medically necessary. If the medical traveler requires a travel companion, this person must be named in the doctor’s letter or certification. This exemption does not apply if the travel involves any non-medical related purposes.
During a recent emergency meeting of the Hawaiʻi County Council concerning pre-travel testing, Mayor Kim expressed frustration with the inter-island exemption process, but indicated he would put forward a proposal for an improved inter-island travel system by the end of the week.