Published: Sun, November 22, 2020
Medical | By

Canadians can bypass Hawaii's mandatory quarantine with new testing program

Canadians can bypass Hawaii's mandatory quarantine with new testing program

"Hawaii has the most rigorous pre-travel testing program in the United States, and we're grateful to Air Canada and WestJet for making it available to their passengers".

WestJet and Air Canada have signed an agreement with the state of Hawaii which will allow guests travelling to the islands a way to bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine in the US state.

Anyone flying to Hawaii will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test result prior to their departure for the state, with the new rule going into effect two days before Thanksgiving, Governor David Ige announced on Thursday.

A negative test result, from WestJet laboratory partner DynaLIFE, is required within 72-hours of departure to Hawaii. Travellers without proof of a negative test result prior to boarding their flight to Hawaii will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days, or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter.

In December, WestJet flights to Hawaii are taking off and Air Canada is doing the same.

"Many Canadians love to visit Hawaii during the winter months to escape the cold weather, so the timing for this works well", Ige said. This is why I am supportive of our teams move to require test results before people depart for Hawai'i.

"We are aware that it would have some impact in the numbers, but we do believe that the pre-travel testing program is working, that all, many of our trusted partners are able to deliver results back to those traveling in a timely way", the governor explained. Alberta residents may be eligible to participate in the joint Government of Canada and Government of Alberta pilot project to test arriving residents as part of reducing quarantine. You will have to quarantine for 14 days on your return home, however.

Earlier this week, WestJet announced its December schedule including twice-weekly, nonstop Dreamliner service between Calgary and Honolulu, and Calgary and Maui.

Ige said the change responds to concern from county officials that COVID-positive passengers were arriving in Hawaii.

The pre-travel testing program is one layer of the state's comprehensive Safe Travels Hawaiʻi program that makes every step of the travel process safer - from pre-arrival testing to post-arrival accommodations and experiences. "As an island community, we must take precautions to ensure that our hospitals have the staff, equipment and supplies needed to care for those in need of treatment, whether they have the coronavirus or any other medical condition".

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