Hawaii: Japanese First International Travelers to Skip Quarantine via Pre-Travel Testing

Hawaii: Japanese First International Travelers to Skip Quarantine via Pre-Travel Testing

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Hawaii Will Welcome Japanese as the State's First International Travelers Exempt from Quarantine via Pre-Travel Testing starting this Friday, November 6, 2020.

As with Hawaii's pre-travel testing for mainland U.S. visitors, the COVID-19 PCR test must be taken within the 72 hours prior to the flight to Hawaii, from one of the 21 approved testing partners in Japan. These include 12 partners in Tokyo, such as the Tokyo Medical University Hospital, St. Luke's International Hospital and others, as well as partners in Aichi, Chiba, Hokkaido, Kanagawa, and Osaka. See the complete list of approved testing partners in Japan.

Currently only JAL is operating nonstop flights between Tokyo (NRT and HND) and Honolulu HNL, although Hawaiian Airlines resumes flights between Narita and Honolulu on December 17, 2020 and ANA resumes A380 flights starting February 1, 2021, hopefully including access to the ANA A380 Lounge in Honolulu.

Japanese visitors are key to Hawaii's tourism industry, accounting for over $2 billion in 2019.

It remains to be seen how many Japanese will visit Hawaii, as COVID-19 tests can be expensive, up to $600 per person. A particular deterrent is that a 14-day quarantine applies upon returning to Japan, which for non-Tokyo travelers must be completed at a quarantine hotel in Tokyo, adding significant time and expense to the trip.

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When Will Japan Open to U.S. Visitors?

While Japanese will be able to skip Hawaii's 14-day quarantine soon with a pre-travel COVID test, it won't be until Spring 2021, possibly April 2021, until Japan opens to tourists. While exact requirements are still being hammered out, the Japan Times reports they are likely to include:

  • Pre-travel COVID-19 PCR test
  • Proof of private COVID-19 insurance to cover medical costs in Japan, if needed
  • Another COVID-19 test on arrival at the airport
  • Installation of a mobile phone health check app to track health and potential symptoms for 14 days after arriving in Japan

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