Breaking: Reopening News from Hawaii's Lieutenant Governor

Breaking: Travel Reopening News from Hawaii’s Lt. Gov.

Emergency room physician and Lieutenant Governor Josh Green this afternoon had a one hour Facebook Live session to talk about Hawaii reopening plans and pre-travel testing, among other things.

The reason this is so important is that Green is the person responsible for Hawaii’s upcoming travel testing program.  We said earlier today we would update you when he spoke, because of his significance, and following are some of the highlights. Green was at home and filming from his son’s bedroom, which was the reason for the stuffed toys in the background.

When do pre-travel tests need to be performed? Green said that tests need to be taken within 72 hours of departure, whereas the state website is in conflict, and says within 72 prior of arrival. That is a significant difference when travel can take six or more hours, and the point needs clarification.

Which tests will be accepted? He did not state by name all of the tests that would be permitted, but did specifically mention these will all be NAAT type. He also for the first time added the Abbott ID Now test to accepted tests. Mail-in tests will be part of the solution too, as he mentioned multiple times, but further details on those were not provided.

Who are Hawaii’s testing partners? Green mentioned that they are partnering with CVS, Walgreens, Kaiser Permanente and Vault, which offers a $150 saliva based check swab test. Hawaii’s Oceanit Labs may be added later if approved by the FDA. 

Airlines may be doing tests. We had not heard about this before, but Green said that some of the airlines will be doing COVID tests at mainland airports. While he didn’t provide more information, he did confirm, as we have stated multiple times, that the state has no authority to require testing prior to travel. 

What is the minimum age requiring testing? All persons will have to be tested at this time, Green said, without regard to age. But CVS, for example, only will test passengers 12 and older.

What if your test result isn’t obtained in time for travel? If the test does not come back prior to your arrival, Green reiterated that those visitors will be required to quarantine until results come in.

Quarantine hotels? Green also said he would like to see specific hotels set up for quarantining arrivals. No further details were offered.

Testing for interisland travel without quarantine. Green expects that to be approved within the next couple of weeks.

What about international arrivals. The Lieutenant Governor said that plans are in process for other countries including Canada, Japan, and Australia. He said Japan may even come slightly before the October 15 mainland reopening. That having been said, however, the state website says, “Currently, international travel restrictions prohibit European and other countries from traveling to the U.S.”

How did Green contract COVID? The Lieutenant Governor reiterated it was while he was driving in a car on the Big Island with two members of his team. We’d heard that they hadn’t worn masks for the entire time, but honestly can’t speak to that. Someone asked on Facebook why Green wasn’t wearing a mask on a radio interview the day that he tested positive.

Lastly, Green alluded to Hawaii picking him as governor in the future. He also said he doesn’t generally like politicians and his primary focus is that of being a doctor.


65 thoughts on “Breaking: Travel Reopening News from Hawaii’s Lt. Gov.”

  1. According to Bloomberg news, United Airlines just announced they will do pre-flight testing at SFO for $250 per person. Results in 15 minutes. I would link it, but you don’t allow links ….

    No mention if kids under 12 included. I did not se anything announced on United’s website.

  2. Thank you for all your hard word putting together the plan for reopening. However, how do we get our under 12 grandchildren to Hawaii from the mainland? We are Maui residents and our children want to bring our grandchildren to the Islands for the holidays. How do the under 12 get tested? Also, will you still need a test during summer of 2021? If so, how will families ever be able to come to Hawaii if you have little ones.Please try to get some company be willing to test the under 12 year olds. Thank you for taking the time to read this.Dick A

  3. Please post this. I was a resident of Kauai for 11 years. I am now in South Dakota. Our governors in Iowa and South Dakota are making big mistakes. The President has urged mandatory masks. The gov of IA is not taking the HINT. South Dakota’s Gov opened up Sturgis. No masks there for the bikers. Family and friends are getting COVID 19. People are dying. Make a very careful decision for Hawaii please. Don’t be in a big rush. Be Safe!
    Donna J.

  4. What a joke they’ve had since at least April to put things in place. This is going to be yet another disaster from a clueless state leadership. I don’t see any new answers here. .

  5. On the state website they mention the pre travel test has to be from a CLIA certified lab. Now that they are accepting the Abbot ID Now test, which is a rapid test giving results in 15 minutes, does anyone know if it can be done at a local medical office rather than from a certified lab?

  6. Why can’t people already here in quarantine take a test and be released from quarantine early if they test negative?

    1. Aloha
      How could they leave their quarantine space. They are not allowed to rent a car and I don’t want to be on Maui bus with them.
      Maybe Uber , but puts our drivers at risk.
      Maybe a service can come to them.
      Some sort of health nurse.

      1. “but puts our drivers at risk.”

        Curious – are there any stats put out on percentage of people that were forced to quarantine over the last 6 months on Hawaii that turned out to actually have the virus?

        I get it – everyone arriving is treated as being unclean “just in case” (or to quote Casino: “why take a chance?”) .

        I read about these COVID “spikes” and “surges” on Oahu and Maui. Have these been traced to people in quarantine who took Uber or public bus before their sentence was served?

    1. Wow… doesn’t sound like they have this together at all. Conflicting info on what test you need, how long before and places like Cvs, don’t seem to know theg have some agreement for tests. And your article is correct. HI government does Not have the authority to demand a pretravel test like this. Why dont they open up more for their own residents first?

    2. Well, it has been feeling like that is Exactly the Point! This is the Big Push to figure out How Hawaii maintains, Without such a dependence on tourism. Thanx for your remark. I hope mines helps others to understand another point of view.

  7. I am glad to hear that Hawaii will be open soon. I am Canadian, and I have a condo in Maui.Do to the quarantine policy I can not use this condo myself or rent to out state visitors. All Natasmall business are wiped out on Maui. It is going be very hard to rebuild pre-covid economy. The state should collect some fees in airports which will be
    passed to the hospitals to buy any additional equipment to help with Covid patients.

  8. Bought hawaiian airlines tix for wife and toddler. Cant find anyone who will do covid test for kids under 12y/o. Also cant guarantee results by departure date. Pediatrician said no resources allocated for travel. cvs said they’ve never heard of partnership and on website cant sign up bc no symptoms. Kaiser said must be member which we are not. Had to cancel tickets. In japan they administer pcr tests (saliva) upon arrival. (But they also must self quarantine for 14 days.) We should administer before departure at airport. Wasnt looking forward to having kid take covid test though. It’s extremely uncomfortable, painful.

      1. I just used the Pixel test 2 weeks ago and got results in 48 hours. Also the swab for the test was self administered and I only had to insert it partially up my nostril so it was not painful at all. I highly recommend the Pixel Lab Corps PCR tests.

    1. According to Green’s comments, Vault Health is a partner (which is the first I’m reading this). They provide at home tests AND will test children. This might be your only option to get tests for children under 12 years old. While Pixel by LabCorp also has at home tests, they are available only for people who are 18 years are older.

  9. I checked with CVS and Kaiser in California. Nobody seems to know about the rapid 72 hr pre-test. Couldn’t guarantee we’d get results so what’s up??

  10. So, if you’re a resident of the Big Island and go visit family on Kauai, and you are required to get tested….do you have to get tested again to go home???

  11. I have noticed that COVID hospitalizations in Hawaii are still increasing daily as of today. I wonder What criteria might cause the government to suspend or abandon the testing protocol? Thanks.

      1. Please explain why Hawaii residence still need to wait, “a couple of more weeks”, but travelers from Japan or Canada may actually have approvals before October 15 ? Why not use this time as a “test/trial period”, see how testing is working, make evaluations, and then consider opening trans-pacific travel ? Isn’t it easier,and less costly to start with Inter-Island travel ? Oahu residents are, in essence, the only Hawaii residents required to quarantine when traveling Inter-Island. Why not lift that first ? Or, us it there some truth to statements that all of the Mayors, with support and approval from the governor, are agreeing to keep the “Travel from Oahu quarantine” in place ? Mahalo

        1. Hi David.

          We keep hearing that the interisland quarantine will be lifted first, but can’t confirm that with certainty. Beyond that, we wouldn’t even try to make sense of some of the things that the state is proposing. Thanks.


        2. Common sense why they approve the people with lots of money and investments in Hawaii. The Japanese… lots of money they have in Hawaii the Japanese. They won’t stop them .

  12. Aloha! I looked at Hawaiian’s rates, and it looks like they’re going up… any advice? Mahalo for everything you do!

  13. We’re flying from Chicago to Honolulu to Lihue On October 17 on a United Airlines itinerary. Will that last leg – Honolulu to Lihue be considered inter island travel?

    1. I would like to fly from Minnesota to Oahu and I only have 2 weeks. Will I have to quarantine?
      Oct 16 to 30.

    2. no, was there in July and all airlines were routed through Honolulu. It only counts as inter island travel if your departure originates in Hawaii.

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