Starting from August 1, travelers who can prove they have tested negative for Covid-19 will not be subject to the Hawaii state 14-day self-quarantine, Gov. David Ige said.
Tourists seeking the exemption must produce results of an FDA-approved test taken within 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii. The 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for out-of-state visitors, which was recently extended to July 31, will remain in effect for those who have not been tested.
“This multi-layered, pre-travel testing and screening process allows travelers an alternative to the 14-day travel quarantine in a way that protects the health and safety of our [residents] and visitors,” Ige said. “Now is the time to work together to ensure that our local businesses can safely reopen to incoming travelers.”
Temperature checks will continue at the airports in Hawaii and anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees or experiencing other symptoms will be required to undergo a second health screening.
The announcement comes as Hawaii is facing a legal challenge claiming the quarantine is unconstitutional because it targets out-of-state residents. The Justice Department filed a statement of interest Tuesday backing a lawsuit filed by Nevada and California residents who own property in Hawaii challenging the quarantine.
The Justice Department said the quarantine harms Hawaii’s tourism industry and “precludes out-of-staters who own properties in Hawaii from taking advantage of opportunities available to Hawaii residents who have not left the island since the onset of the pandemic,” who have continued to be able to travel freely between islands.
“The United States explains that Hawaii’s self-quarantine requirement effectively discriminates against out-of-state residents,” the department continued. “This effective discrimination, based on the evidence and argument presented thus far, appears to be inadequately tailored to further public safety and therefore does not comply with the Constitution.”