Ige denies Kauai’s request to require second negative COVID-19 test for travelers

Ige denies Kauai’s request to require second negative COVID-19 test for travelers
The state's pre-travel testing program is set to launch on Oct 15th where travelers much test negative no more than three days prior to departing to avoid the 14 day quarantine. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The governor has denied Kauai’s proposed pilot program that would require trans-Pacific travelers to get a second COVID-19 test after arrival.

The state plans to launch a pre-travel testing program Oct. 15, allowing visitors to forgo a mandatory quarantine if they arrive with a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before departure.

Kauai had asked for stricter protocols, asking the governor to OK a plan that would require travelers to not only get a test before coming to the island but get one several days after they arrive.

[Read more: Green: Second COVID-19 test not necessary for trans-Pacific travelers]

Until those travelers tested negative for COVID-19 a second time, they would have had to quarantine.

“Our proposed pilot was intended to augment the state’s pre-travel testing program,” said Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami. "Our county administration has been clear that a single pre-arrival testing program alone does not provide the needed level of protection for our Kauai community.

“However, our proposed second-test program has formally been denied.”

Kawakami called the denial “disappointing,” but said the island must be flexible.

He added, "We have already secured 15,000 rapid tests. We are now developing a plan on how we can still utilize these tests to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on our island in light of the governor and lieutenant governor’s pre-travel testing program which will commence on Oct. 15.”

Earlier on Monday, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said a second negative COVID-19 was unnecessary and called calls for more protocols “fear-based.” Green has said that roughly 1 in 1,000 incoming travelers are expected to be infectious with coronavirus even after testing negative for COVID-19.

If 8,000 travelers come in a day, that translates to about 240 additional cases a month.

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