Officials in Hawaii will amend some travel restrictions from Oct. 15 due to decreases in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Authorities will implement the Pre-Travel Testing Program, which will allow travelers to enter Hawaii without the need to self-quarantine, if they provide proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 with an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test within the 72 hours before their final leg of departure to the state. The test must be taken at one of Hawaii's approved trusted testing and travel partners. Those who do not provide a negative test result must quarantine for 14-days, or for the duration of the trip - whichever is shorter, or until they can provide negative test results. Travelers will also undergo a temperature screening on arrival and must fill out a travel and health form. Individual counties may impose a requirement for travelers over the age of five to obtain a subsequential test after arrival to the state at the expense of the county; in these cases, self-quarantine is not required while waiting for the subsequent test. This requirement is in effect for Hawaii county, and is voluntary in Maui county.
Additionally, officials are requiring inter-island travelers arriving in Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui, and Kalawao counties to self-isolate for a 14-days or the entire length of the visit, whichever is shorter. Interisland travelers entering Kaua'i and Maui counties may be exempt from quarantine if they receive a negative COVID-19 pre-test within the 72-hours before their final leg of travel to the county. Travelers arriving in Oahu from other Hawaiian islands are not required to self-quarantine. Travelers may submit a request for a limited quarantine to local officials.
Other restrictions remain in place. In Oahu restaurants, gyms, and most nonessential businesses may remain open as long as they follow social distancing guidelines and require patrons to wear face masks. Indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to five people. Beaches, parks, and bars will remain closed.
The City of Honolulu previously reimposed restrictions through Oct. 31. Under the order, all residents must remain in their residences unless performing an essential activity; individuals must keep at least six feet apart and wear a face mask. All nonessential businesses must remain closed, and nonessential travel is prohibited. Indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to five people are permitted, and parks will remain open. Businesses allowed to open can operate at 50-percent capacity.
Other restrictions remain in place at the state level. While state parks and beaches have reopened, gatherings of more than 10 people remain banned statewide. Residents 65 years and older and individuals with underlying medical conditions are encouraged to remain home as much as possible. Commercial and recreational boats may operate at 50-percent capacity. Authorities also urge residents to wear face masks whenever in public and close to others.
State authorities have also allowed counties to reopen certain businesses as part of Hawaii's economic reopening plan:
- Hawaii County: Places of worship, personal care services, dine-in services at restaurants and bars, indoor entertainment businesses, museums, fitness centers, swimming pools, and real estate businesses are open.
- Maui County: Bars may remain open, as long as capacity restrictions and social distancing are enforced. Authorities have also allowed the reopening of dog parks, playgrounds, county and beach parks, and some public pools. Nightclubs and concert halls must remain closed. Individuals over the age of five years old must wear face masks in indoor public spaces.
- Kauai County: Salons and barber shops, cleaning and construction companies, one-on-one personal training, outdoor tour activities, places of worship, and public and private pools have been allowed to operate with restricted capacity. Gyms, dine-in service at restaurants, personal care services, and outdoor recreational facilities can open with restricted capacity. Face coverings must been worn indoors and outdoors when within 6 feet of others.
Businesses must ensure proper distances between employees and between customers, enhance sanitation, and send any employees showing COVID-19 symptoms home.
Transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities may deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on disease activity in the coming weeks.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.