4/6/21 Update: Governor Ige's latest update is that, given current high COVID-19 case counts on Maui and Oahu, reopening inter-island travel without COVID-19 pre-flight testing will likely be delayed until summer, for example July 4, 2021. That summer timeframe is also more realistic for exempting vaccinated trans-Pacific travelers from pre-flight COVID-19 testing.
Hawaii's Interisland COVID-19 Testing to Avoid Quarantine Could End as Early as April 1, 2021, per Lt. Gov. Josh Green, making island hopping much easier. Hawaii has the lowest average number of new COVID-19 cases per capita of any U.S. state (an average of 3 per 100K population), with a test positivity rate of just 1%.
Green has noted that with the rollout of vaccines helping prevent cases and hospitalization of the oldest state residents, as well as the accelerated vaccine production and distribution to the states outlined by the Biden administration, Hawaii expects to in April 2021 start vaccinating residents age 65 and up as well as those with underlying medical conditions.
April is also when Green hopes to drop the Hawaii's interisland travel restrictions, although this is subject to the agreement of the county mayors and Governor Ige. Currently, Hawaii visitors and residents must take a COVID-19 test within the 72 hours prior to interisland travel and test negative. The only exception is for travel to Oahu from the other islands. Travel within a county (Lanai is part of Maui county) is also permitted without further testing.
Separately, Kauai aims to rejoin Hawaii Safe Travels as of April 5, 2021, if Governor Ige approves the request. Currently Kauai does not participate in Hawaii Safe Travels, so trans-Pacific travelers are only able to visit and move around the island if they have been on another Hawaiian island at least 72 hours and tested negative from a COVID-19 test administered by one of the State of Hawaii's Inter-County Travel Testing Partners. The other alternative is to stay in a resort bubble.
We'll be monitoring the situation closely for our clients who will be traveling and island hopping in Hawaii over the coming months.
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