Coronavirus Updates

State Launches Mandatory Safe Travels App

Posted September 1, 2020, 6:00 AM HST ·Updated August 31, 4:58 PM

More health documentation will be required to travel to and throughout the Hawaiian Islands beginning today.

The State of Hawai‘i announced Monday that the new online Safe Travels application will be mandatory for all travelers beginning Tuesday, Sept. 1. This new digital application, which collects the required health and travel information, is critical to protecting the health of residents and visitors alike, according to a news release from the Office of Enterprise Technology Services.

Safe Travels is one part of a multi-layered screening process that includes arrival temperature checks and secondary screenings for those with symptoms or temperatures of 100.4° F or higher. The application can be found at https://travel.hawaii.gov.

“I am pleased to launch this digital app, which will allow our travelers to provide their required health and travel information before they arrive at the airport,” said Gov. David Ige. “It will also help us keep in contact with those who are required to be in quarantine. This is an important step in preparing to reopen our economy.”

Safe Travels digitizes and simplifies the current paper-based process. Currently, there are two different types of forms, one each for interisland and transpacific, for travel to and within Hawai‘i. This platform provides a one-stop-shop for both types of travelers.

This new online application will provide the State Department of Health (DOH) access to the mandatory health information that passengers need to provide to monitor and protect public health in real-time, the release said. It can also be used by the Department of the Attorney General and county law enforcement officials to enforce the quarantine rules.

Travelers are encouraged to enter their information and trip details well in advance of their flights. Once their health information is entered 24 hours before departure, travelers receive a QR code via email. The QR code on their mobile device or printed on paper gets scanned by the airport screener upon arrival.

“Compared to paper processing, this online app will save travelers time at the airport and will speed up distribution of information to state and county officials who need it to keep us all safe,” said Douglas Murdock, chief information officer at the Office of Enterprise Technology Services.

The new app was developed in partnership with Google and its premier partner, SpringML, at a cost of $638,000 for the initial implementation. A platform to collect, aggregate, display, and analyze data is provided by ESRI. Funding for this project is provided by the Federal CARES Act.

Key features of the new app include:

  • The ability to log in using Email, Google, or Facebook logins.
  • A highly secured platform built on Google cloud.
  • The verification of passenger contact information before arrival to speed up their processing at the airport.
  • Collection of health and contact information needed for arrival screening and public health monitoring.
  • Creation of a QR code that airport screeners scan to review the traveler’s information for clearance or secondary screening.
  • Automated generation of quarantine check-in reminders as emails and text messages.

New features and data elements will be added in future phases, as the Safe Travels process and state travel requirements evolve. Travelers without smartphones or computers can ask a friend or relative for assistance or receive assistance at the arrival airport. Travelers without email addresses will need to create one on an email service to comply with the conditions of quarantine.

This project is being spearheaded by the Office of Enterprise Technology Services in collaboration with the State Department of Transportation, DOH, the Department of the Attorney General, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and the counties.

 
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