What returning residents ought to learn about Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Tourists have a quarantine-free way to travel to Hawaii, but what about the Hawaiian residents trying to return home?

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It may not be that easy if you don’t plan ahead.

A resident of Kauai was doing research with his family for a Christmas vacation to the mainland and advised travelers to carefully consider options for returning residents.

Erik Brandsen checked CVS health– One of two San Diego companies that are also on the state’s trusted travel partner list. Brandsen has learned that CVS does not test children under the age of 12. He has a daughter who is 6 years old and needs to be tested.

“It was interesting to have a travel partner when so many people who travel to Hawaii have children under the age of 12. So many Hawaiian residents who travel to the mainland bring their children with them,” emphasized Brandsen.

Many of the state’s test partners also require appointments. At CVS you can book your appointment two days in advance. Brandsen said getting a window of time when it is busy could be a problem.

“You might be on vacation and not be able to get tested,” he said. “I can book my rental car in two weeks from today, I can book my hotel reservation in two weeks from today, but I can’t book a test in two weeks.”

There are more than 3,500 test sites in 33 states, according to CVS. In a statement, says CVS

“We are focused on improving access to COVID-19 testing to slow the spread of the virus and support efforts by states and communities to safely engage in critical activities, including international travel. Supporting the state of Hawaii reopening to recreational travel in October will have a positive impact on the local economy and a number of key industries.

According to the guidelines of the state of Hawaii, starting October 15, travelers are exempt from the mandatory 14-day quarantine if they receive written confirmation of a negative test result from a state-approved COVID-19 testing facility (e.g. CVS Health) submit test to be carried out to the traveler within 72 hours of the last departure.

Once the program begins, individuals who require a COVID-19 test to travel to Hawaii will need to register online to schedule an appointment at a COVID-19 test location in select CVS Pharmacy transit locations. Tests are $ 139 per test, and we currently expect most test results to be available within 2-3 days. “

The state also accepts testing from 9 other partners, at least one of which offers mail-in testing.

KHON2 spoke to fellow Hawaii travelers who had similar headaches while trying to find a suitable place to test. Since it can be difficult to be in unfamiliar areas, they decided to pre-order Mail-In Test Kits through Vault Health.

For Brandsen, he wants the returning residents to do their research carefully.

“I’m going to visit my kids in person in San Diego next week – see how I do on my own,” said Brandsen. “Before you even buy your tickets, you need to make sure you have an opportunity to get tested.”

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