For many, traveler testing program is a chance to visit loved ones

Updated: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:48 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state’s new pre-travel testing program isn’t just for visitors. Hawaii residents have also been waiting to get back home ― without having to quarantine.

For some, that meant staying away from the islands for a couple more weeks.

But on Thursday, thousands of passengers poured into the state from Seattle, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and more to visit loved ones.

Las Vegas resident Sean Rose was supposed to arrive on Oct. 6, but says he rescheduled his flight to Thursday so that he could visit family without having to quarantine.

“I didn’t want to wait to quarantine when I got here so I waited until the government said it was OK not to quarantine with these certain restrictions,” he said.

Oahu resident Mitchell Mathans was on one of the first flights out from Seattle to Honolulu.

He plans to spend 14 days in quarantine.

“It’s gonna be difficult going home because I did apply for the testing here in Washington, but they ran out of test kits," he said, adding he filled out all his paperwork with the state.

Other residents, like Melvin Pua, says the pre-testing process was simple.

He arrived from Las Vegas after going to a wedding there.

“The setup that they had where they separate us from who has results, who’s pending and who’s waiting, it was pretty quick,” he said.

“It was pretty much in and out I didn’t have to wait or anything.”

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