Summary
Officials in Hawaii continue to enforce travel and business restrictions as of Oct. 30 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities have implemented the Pre-Travel Testing Program since Oct. 15, which allows travelers to enter Hawaii without the need to self-quarantine, if they provide proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved nucleic acid amplification test within 72 hours before their final leg of departure to the state. The test must be taken at one of Hawaii's approved and trusted testing and travel partners. As of Oct. 30, these partners are US-based; starting Nov. 6, trusted partners in Japan will be accepted.

Travelers 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 COVID-19 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 Kauai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii to self-isolate for 14 days or the entire length of the visit, whichever is shorter. Interisland travelers entering Kauai 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.

All counties in Hawaii require residents to wear facemasks when in public settings and encourage office-based businesses to keep employees working from home.

The City and County of Honolulu have moved to Tier 2 of its reopening plan, under which gyms and fitness centers may reopen at 25-percent capacity, groups of up to five people are allowed to dine-in at the same table at restaurants, personal care businesses may reopen, and legal short-term rentals are allowed. Other restrictions remain the same, including a ban on social gatherings larger than five people, and the operation of movie theaters and retail stores at 50-percent capacity. Bars and nightclubs must remain closed.

Other county-level restrictions in place are:

 

  • Maui County: Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed. Nightclubs and concert halls remain closed. Beaches and parks can open between 0700-1900. Bars can operate at 50-percent capacity. Most other businesses may open without capacity limits, but ensuring social distance and health measures are in place.
  • Kauai County: Social gatherings of up to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors are allowed. Most businesses can operate at 50-percent capacity, including restaurants and bars, museums, indoor entertainment businesses, and gyms, and fitness centers.
  • 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.

 

Businesses must ensure proper distances between employees and between customers, enhance sanitation, and send any employees showing COVID-19 symptoms home. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on disease activity in the coming weeks.

 

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Confirm appointments and travel arrangements. 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.

 

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