Starting Nov. 6, travelers from Japan who can produce a negative COVID-19 test result 72 hours before arrival in Hawaii will be allowed to skip the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Japanese visitors will be the first international travelers to be able to participate in the state’s pre-travel testing program. The nucleic acid amplification tests must come from a “trusted testing partner” using tests that have been approved by both the state Department of Health and the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
“Please feel free to safely visit our islands,” Gov. David Ige said during a press conference announcing the testing program.
Hawaiian Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines will begin flying a combined total of 10 flights a week between Hawaii and Japan. Additionally, Hawaiian expects to ramp its own flights up to nine a week with three flights each out of the Narita and Hanaeda airports in Tokyo and another out of Osaka., according to Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing for Hawaiian.
Ige said the state is pursuing similar pre-travel testing programs with other countries, including Canada.
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Blaze Lovell is a reporter for Civil Beat and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was born and raised on Oahu. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @blaze_lovell