Updated 4/23/21: Mayor Victorino expects Maui's mandatory COVID-19 testing on arrival (in addition to pre-travel testing) to begin the first week of May 2021. Only Hawaii residents who have been fully vaccinated in Hawaii will be exempt from pre-travel testing and testing on arrival, starting May 11.
Updated 4/13/21: Passengers arriving at Maui's Kahului Airport (OGG) will not have to wait for their test result before leaving the airport. They will be contacted later with their test result, per Hawaii News Now.
Maui Island in Hawaii Will Require a Second COVID-19 Test on Arrival at Kahului Airport (OGG) for Transpacific Visitors and Returning Residents. The on-arrival rapid COVID-19 test is in addition to the pre-flight coronavirus test from a State of Hawaii travel partner required as part of the Hawaii Safe Travels program, which allows trans-Pacific arrivals to bypass Hawaii's 10 day quarantine. The testing on arrival won't apply to inter-island travelers arriving from elsewhere in Hawaii, although these travelers will still have to have a negative COVID-19 test result from a test taken in the 72 hours prior to the flight.
Maui Governor Victorino recently asked Gov. David Ige to allow Maui county to require a second test and received approval on Tuesday. Victorino expects that getting personnel trained to administer the test and finalizing the procedures will take 10 working days, such that the mandatory on-arrival rapid COVID-19 testing would start towards the end of April, 2021.
Any arriving traveler from the U.S. mainland or Canada who refuses to undergo the rapid COVID-19 test on arrival will be required to go into the mandatory 10-day quarantine.
The reason for the on-arrival rapid COVID-19 test? Maui, home to some of our clients' most popular Hawaii resorts such as the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, has seen a spate of recent coronavirus cases, an average of 24 new cases a day, with a seven-day rolling average 3.2% test positivity rate per Hawaii Department of Health data. The most populous island of Oahu has a lower average 2% positivity rate.
Maui Mayor Victorino has stated that the second COVID-19 test is to determine if visitors and returning residents are significantly contributing to the higher number of new coronavirus cases or not.
A November study by Maui health officials found that 2 of 281 travelers who agreed to a second test at the Kahului Airport tested positive for COVID-19. This equates to a test positivity rate of 7 cases per 1,000 travelers, higher than the anticipated rate of one case per 1,000 travelers that Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green expected the Hawaii Safe Travels program to result in. A review of the Hawaii Safe Travels program from October-November 2020 found an average rate of 2.2 cases per 1,000 travelers, so the Maui test positivity rate based on the November 2020 sampled travelers was over triple that for the Hawaii Safe Travels program as a whole, although of course 281 travelers is a small sample size.
Maui's free voluntary testing for travelers upon arrival has, to date, conducted 31,547 tests with 797 positive results. This is a test positivity rate of 2.5%, higher than Hawaii's current average test positivity rate, at time of writing, of 1.8%, over the past 7 days.
It's because of the recent relatively high number of new cases and higher test positivity rate on Maui and Oahu that Governor David Ige has delayed a vaccine passport program that would allow fully vaccinated people to travel without testing or quarantine.
Will Maui's plan to implement a second rapid COVID-19 test on arrival at OGG affect your Hawaii travel plans?
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