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Maui travelers left in limbo over post-arrival COVID test eager for details on plan

Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 11:21 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Travelers are anxious for more details on Maui’s plan to require coronavirus tests for passengers after they arrive on island.

Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino said by the end of the month, trans-Pacific travelers will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test when they arrive at the airport.

That’s in addition to the test they must take 72 hours before leaving for Hawaii.

“A lot of people are just curious how it’s going to be executed?” said former Maui resident Cristy Boteilho, who now lives in Colorado and is planning a trip home.

She has a lot of questions.

“Are we going to get off the plane and are we going to immediately be tested? And then how long do we have to wait? Is everyone expected to stay at the airport until we get clearance?”

Victorino Communications Director Brian Perry said travelers will not be required to wait at the airport for secondary test results.

“They will be contacted later with their test results,” he said, in an email.

According to the state’s website, about 14,000 visitors arrived on island over the weekend.

Victorino said the secondary test is to determine if visitors are contributing to the spike of COVID infections on island.

“It would be wise of them to ask travelers to refrain from going to places like Costco and Walmart until they get their results back,” Boteilho said.

Some visitors said having a secondary post-arrival test will take another toll on the island’s already crippled tourism industry.

“I think a second test might deter people from coming here,” said a California visitor, who didn’t want to use his name. “The question is what are you going to do if you test positive after you get here?

“Do I get sent home, or do I get told to stay in my hotel and not go to the beach for the duration of my trip?” Neither one is going to be very popular.”

Maui County is footing the bill for the second test, but Perry said they don’t know much it will cost yet.

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