Gov. David Ige today announced that the state will be lifting the 14-day quarantine requirement for inter-island travelers, effective June 16.
The state Department of Transportation will require thermal screening at the airport for everyone traveling inter-island. HDOT will also require travelers to fill out a new form that will now also ask for health-related information to assist the state in tracking and responding to new COVID-19 cases.
Travelers may be prohibited from boarding a flight if they have an elevated temperature above 100.4 degrees, they refuse to complete the mandatory form, or they are on the 14-day quarantine list prohibiting them from flying.
“I want to ensure the public that the health and safety of our residents are still our primary concerns. We would not have taken this step if key indicators were not achieved,” said Gov. Ige. “The number of new COVID-19 cases is very low, among the lowest in the nation. We also have ample healthcare capacity to handle any new outbreak or surge, and our testing and contact tracing capacity continue to increase.”
The number of new COVID-19 cases is expected to rise once travel is re-opened. However, the State Department of Health has begun the process of training 500 new contact tracers, exceeding the recommended standards set by the Centers for Disease Control, and is exploring other screening and testing procedures.
“This is an important step for everyone living in Hawaiʻi. It will help reunite families and friends who have been separated due to COVID-19. And it’s an important step for the reopening of our kamaʻaina economy,” said Gov. Ige.
The governor noted that the next step in re-opening air travel will be restoring out-of-state travel to the islands in a safe manner. He has been working on plans to do this said he would announce them soon.
“We must ensure that we do not experience a surge in cases that overwhelms our healthcare capacity. While we are working quickly to re-open travel, this must be a careful and thoughtful process. We have seen the new outbreaks in other communities that have re-opened too quickly. And many of our largest visitor markets, such as California, still have large numbers of cases that are a cause for concern,” said Gov. Ige.