Dateline: Kihei, October 9, 2020 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–
As October 15th rapidly approaches, numerous businesses in Maui prepare to reopen to welcome tourists. Of all of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui currently maintains the highest percentage of bookings between October, 2020 and February, 2021 for vacation accommodations. The Governor of Hawaii recently announced the implementation of a plan to initiate an option for pre-travel COVID-19 testing by incoming Pacific travelers. The program permits travelers who document negative test results for the coronavirus to bypass the State’s mandatory two week quarantine. The new guidelines take effect on October 15th in Hawaii, although individual counties have the option of opting out of the program. Maui reopening planning continues to generate intense interest among hospitality industry providers and tourists alike.
Maui Reopening Activities
Reportedly, the announcement of the new pre-travel COVID-19 testing program sparked an increase in hotel reservations on Maui. The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa has begun confirming reservations scheduled on or after its October 15th reopening date. Several other local resorts have started preparing to welcome an influx of vacationers, too, including the acclaimed Wailea Beach Resort.
The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea recently reported it will reopen to guests on November 20, 2020. The resort has taken a number of measures in accordance with a “Safe on Maui” program to protect the health of its guests and employees. These precautions include installing air purification units in every room and suite, and contracting with a medical team authorized to conduct mobile testing for COVID-19.
A Mandatory Quarantine in Hawaii
The State of Hawaii provides extensive information at https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/ about the new pre-travel test program for trans-Pacific travelers beginning on October 15, 2020. The mandatory 14-day quarantine remains in effect for all arrivals, including visitors and residents. It commenced on March 26, 2020, and requires everyone entering the state to undergo a quarantine period to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Residents may quarantine at home, and visitors must quarantine at a hotel or a motel. Travelers who do not qualify for the pre-travel test program (commencing on October 15th) will still need to undergo a mandatory quarantine period.
Both the quarantine requirement and federal international travel restrictions have impacted the tourism industry in Hawaii this year. These public health measures resulted in a sharp decrease in vacation travel to the Hawaiian Islands from other locations. However, the implementation of the new pre-travel testing program will likely encourage more travelers to plan vacations in Maui during the final quarter of 2020.
What You Need to Do to Travel to Maui
The pre-travel test program will permit travelers to bypass the required quarantine period under some circumstances. To qualify, a traveler must furnish proof of having received a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test (“NAAT” test). Travelers must test within 72 hours before arriving at a Hawaiian airport to minimize the risk of contracting the contagious illness in transit. The testing must have been conducted under the auspices of a “trusted partner” listed on the state’s website.
The state website lists AFC Urgent Care, CVS Health, Color, City Health Urgent Care, Carbon Health, Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens, Quest Diagnostics, Vault Health and Discovery Health MD as authorized to administer the NAAT test. Other types of tests, including antigen tests and antibody tests, don’t qualify for purposes of the pre-travel test program. Children at least 5 years of age or older require the test in order to bypass the mandatory quarantine period. Vacationers can also obtain information about the new program at the Hawaii Department of Transportation website at https://hidot.hawaii.gov/coronavirus/.
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