Tens of thousands arrive in Hawaii with pre-travel testing

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii had more than 65,000 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.

View all (2)

State officials said in an email to The Associated Press on Friday that 66,644 people were screened between the Oct. 15 launch and Thursday. Of those visitors — including returning residents, tourists and others — 41,783 tested negative for the coronavirus and were allowed to skip the previously required two weeks of quarantine.

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

More than 7,500 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 warnings and 885 citations for people not wearing masks or other coronavirus-related violations since Oct. 15, the first day of the testing program.

People who can produce a negative test result within 72 hours of their flight to Hawaii are eligible to bypass quarantine. 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.

___

Associated Press writer Jennifer Sinco Kelleher contributed to this report.