Hawaii to lift mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers with negative Covid-19 test results

Brekke Fletcher, CNNPublished 25th June 2020
Hikers couple hiking on Kalalau trail overlooking beach coastal walk two tourists with backpacks walking outdoor in Kauai island, Hawaii summer travel leisure activity active lifestyle.
(CNN) — You can finally go to Hawaii without quarantining -- if you've tested negative for Covid-19.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Hawaii has been serious about keeping the virus out. Gov. David Ige established a 14-day mandatory quarantine for visitors and returning residents on March 26 and has since extended the quarantine through July 31.
On Wednesday, Ige announced an amendment to the mandatory quarantine that likely has visitors, returning residents and local businesses smiling for the first time in three months.
"Beginning August 1, travelers who have a valid negative Covid-19 test prior to arriving will not be subject to the 14-day mandatory quarantine."
While additional details are still to come, this development is the first sign of Hawaii returning to some semblance of normal since tourism came to a standstill this past spring.
The Four Seasons Hualalai on the Island of Hawaii
The Four Seasons Hualalai on the Island of Hawaii
Courtesy Four Seasons Hualalai
Hawaii's tourism business has basically zeroed out, so any glimmer of hope for the safe return of travelers is surely welcome.
Last month, the state began exploring the feasibility of a travel "bubble" with Japan, which would similarly allow Japanese tourists to bypass quarantine if they meet certain criteria.
It would seem Ige's pronouncement negates the necessity of this "bubble" approach, though he offered no specifics during Wednesday's news conference.
What he did say, though, strongly suggests that Hawaii needs to get those tourist dollars back. Ige, however, remains vigilant about doing all he can to protect the health, safety and well-being of both residents and visitors to the islands of Hawaii.
The world's tallest sea cliffs are in Molokai, Hawaii
The world's tallest sea cliffs are in Molokai, Hawaii
Shutterstock
"The health of our community remains our primary focus. This multilayered, 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 kama'āina and visitors," Ige said. "Now is the time to work together to ensure that our local businesses can safely reopen to incoming travelers."