Tens of thousands arrive in Hawaii with pre-travel testing


HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii had about 60,000 travelers arrive in the islands in the first week of its pre-travel coronavirus testing program, a state effort to get the tourism-based economy moving again amid the pandemic.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green, a Democrat, said at a news conference Thursday that 58,611 people had been screened since the Oct. 15 launch. Of those visitors — including returning residents, military members, essential workers, tourists and others — 49,791 tested negative for the coronavirus and were allowed to skip the previously required two weeks of quarantine.

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People who can produce a negative test result within 72 hours of their flight to Hawaii are eligible. Test results from one of the state’s “trusted partners” — a group of clinics, pharmacies and airlines — must be uploaded to a government website upon arrival.

Some people came to Hawaii with the wrong kind of test. The state accepts only negative nucleic acid amplification tests. Other travelers chose to come to Hawaii without being tested at all.

Nearly 7,300 people on the first week’s flights were ordered to quarantine.

On Oahu, the state’s most populated island and home of Waikiki Beach, police issued about 8,400 warning and 885 citations for people not wearing masks or other coronavirus-related violations since Oct. 15, the first day of the testing program.

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