Maui to begin 2nd virus test for travelers in early May

Maui to begin 2nd virus test for travelers in early May
Maui County Mayor Mike Victorino said by the end of the month, transpacific travelers must 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. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — Maui will soon require a second COVID-19 test for trans-Pacific travelers arriving on the island.

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said the program is expected to begin the first week of May, The Maui News reported Tuesday.

The new measure will require trans-Pacific travelers to take a rapid COVID-19 test when they arrive at Kahului Airport. All travelers are also required to get a pre-travel test before arriving in Hawaii.

Hawaii residents who have been fully vaccinated in the state can skip testing and quarantine requirements for travel between islands beginning May 11, Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday. Those people will be exempt from testing at the Maui airport.

Victorino said the county is interested in finding out how many COVID-19 cases are related to travel.

“Maui has to introduce a secondary test to make sure that we are statistically correct that our visitors and travelers are not the ones bringing in a larger number of cases that we had in the past,” Victorino said.

Maui has a seven-day average positivity rate of 2.4% and state health officials have said many cases are linked to a highly transmissible coronavirus variant first found in California.

“It is about a layered approach to the health and well-being of our community, and every layer is important to reduce incoming travelers who may be infected by COVID-19,” Gov. Ige said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.