Caldwell wants post-travel test for those who don’t get one before arrival

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Updated: Oct. 14, 2020 at 4:38 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is proposing an entirely different way to test travelers who want to avoid the state’s 14-day quarantine.

He wants to make tests available to those arriving on Oahu if they couldn’t get one before travel.

Caldwell’s plan would be popular for those making short trips, like a weekend in Las Vegas.

“We’re working on having a mobile lab out there that can do up to 10,000 tests a day. On average it would take three hours to get your result. It’s a PCR test, the gold standard,” Caldwell said.

Starting Thursday, travelers coming from out of state can avoid quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the trip.

Some county mayors are requiring an additional negative result but Caldwell’s plan would be the first to waive the test before flight.

“Should the governor allow us to do it then (passengers) wouldn’t be subject to quarantine, both visitors and returning residents," he said.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green has concerns, saying an infected traveler could spread the virus along the way.

"If they’re positive before they come to Hawaii, they stay home and delay their trip for two weeks,” Green said.

Caldwell has not yet proposed the plan to the governor and does not have a timeline on when he will, saying his office is working with the legal team to move forward.

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