Hawaii opening back up to tourists!

After a long wait since March, Hawaii is finally going to open back up starting October 15!

They will still have a 14-day quarantine requirement but visitors will not have to quarantine if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Travelers will be required to take a coronavirus test within 72 hours before their flight arrives in Hawaii.

The state is partnering up with drug store CVS and healthcare provider Kaiser to conduct the tests. It’s not clear to me exactly how it will work but I’m assuming the results will be guaranteed within a specific time window.

The state has been working on implementing a pre-travel testing program for quite some time. Initially it was supposed to happen on August 1 but that got pushed back to September 1 after a shortage of testing supplies and a spike in cases.

And then once again the deadline was pushed out so this has happened a couple of times.

Hawaii has been hit particularly hard during the pandemic and that is not a surprise considering how much of the economy relies on tourism.

It’s estimated that tourism traffic to Hawaii has dropped more than 90% since the beginning of the pandemic which has forced hundreds of hotels to close. Hawaii now has one of the worst employment rates in the country only following Nevada and Michigan.

Coronavirus cases have continuously declined in Hawaii. In August, there was an average of 255 cases in a week and the total is now down to 118.

If you plan on doing inter-island travel in Hawaii it gets a little bit more complicated. Counties will have programs that you can get enrolled in that will allow you to travel between some islands.

However, that will come at a price. For example, you may have to limit your contact with some people and sign waivers as well as agree to electronic monitoring.

But while there are some restrictions you may have to abide by, it’s exciting to finally see Hawaii opening back up to the public.