Travelers from South Korea may skip Hawaii’s mandatory 10-day quarantine if they are tested at newly approved companies, state officials announced Wednesday.

The test must be taken within 72 hours of departure, according to the Safe Travels Hawaii program guidelines.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began Tuesday to require all incoming foreign travelers to carry proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery upon arrival in the U.S.

For Hawaii-bound international travelers, only those who are tested by the Hawaii “trusted testing partners” will be approved to bypass quarantine.

Korean Airlines aircraft takes off from Daniel K Inouye International Airport.
Hawaii will now allow people traveling from South Korea to bypass quarantine if they’ve been tested at an authorized site. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2020

All four laboratories are authorized by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and administer molecular-based tests called nucleic acid amplification tests.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority “will work with Hawaii Tourism Korea to expand collaboration with airlines, and will also work with South Korea’s leading industry and brand partners to develop sustainable travel themes to Hawai‘i that comply with our State’s travel policies and guidelines,” said John De Fries, the president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in a statement released to the media.

All South Korea-bound travelers are still required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.

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