State scrambles to address issues with its pre-travel testing program website

Updated: Oct. 21, 2020 at 10:05 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some trans-Pacific travelers are running into a significant issue when they try to upload their negative COVID-19 results to the state’s Safe Travels website.

Hawaii’s traveler testing program launched last week, allowing trans-Pacific arrivals to skip a two-week quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19.

The state says the Safe Travels application has gone smoothly for about 80% of travelers.

But for others, it’s been a major source frustration.

“It’s been very difficult to talk to anybody from that site,” said a Hawaii Island resident, who got a COVID-19 test in Los Angeles last week before leaving for Kona.

The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said the results didn’t come back until after he returned to Hawaii Island so he went into quarantine.

But when the results came in and he tried to upload them, the Safe Travels site wouldn’t accept them.

“I made at least 40 phone calls and I actually talked to a lady yesterday finally and she really didn’t have an answer she just said they were having problems with the site. That’s exactly what she said."

After HNN spoke to the traveler, his test was OK’d and he was released from quarantine after five days.

The extent of the problems with the site is unknown, but Lt. Gov. Josh Green acknowledged there are issues with Hawaii’s visitor application process.

“We are right now doing several things to fix that,” Green said.

“A lot of people submitted their tests after getting here because they didn’t get their test results and then it ended up in limbo. We are doing what we can to catch up. We are working day and night."

He said the state is boosting staff to check the tests and release travelers from quarantine.

Although the resident HNN spoke with got his test from approved carriers, Green says that isn’t the case for many other travelers and stressed the importance of going to the correct sites.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.