HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Counties of Maui and Kauai will accept travelers who get negative results of an accepted COVID-19 test 72-hours prior to inter-island travel, Hawaii Governor David Ige announced today.
Honolulu County requires no test or quarantine for inter-island travel, while Hawaii County will not accept the pre-travel tests.
Ige also announced Tuesday that the Big Island has filled 88% of the intensive care unit beds in the county.
“The fact is this poses a threat to the residents, and I need to make a policy that best mitigates that problem as best as we can,” Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said.
Mayor Kim adds that the other deterrants he has for accepting the pre-travel inter-island testing are:
Do people who travel for work every week have to take a test?
Are there still exemptions?
Mayor Kim says he hopes to get those answered so he can submit a request by the end of October.
Until then, Big Island families will have to remain patient to see loved ones on other islands.
“We miss a lot,” Big Island resident Chad Okinaka said. “Because for my in-laws my two girls are their only grand children. They’re older and my in-laws are not necessarily as long. so it’s not like they have all the time in the world.”
For now, Mayor Kim says he’s sorry.
“Boy I tell you what else do you say other than I’m sorry we had to do this, but it’s for the safety of self, family, and community,” said Kim.
For some Big Island residents like Okinaka, tough decisions are understood.
“In this time there are no right answers,” Okinaka said. “I’m sure if he, if he knew someone who had the right answers he would have probably consulted with them, and follow. but since there’s no right answers. He has to do what he feels is the correct move is his right answer.”
Pre-travel testing rules are akin to the trans-pacific travel rules that can be found at https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel/
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