Coronavirus Updates

State Seeking More Pre-Travel Testing Partners

Posted November 2, 2020, 1:41 PM HST

When it comes to travel, it’s better safe than sorry.

Hawaiʻi is searching for additional trusted testing partners for domestic transpacific travel as part of the state’s pre-travel testing program, which aims to keep Hawai‘i safe from coronavirus while also allowing for the return of tourism.

Domestic transpacific travelers to Hawai‘i may bypass the mandatory 14-day quarantine if they take a COVID-19 test from a trusted testing partner. The test must be taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to departure and the test must be negative.

“Now that the pre-travel testing program has been successfully launched, we are looking to expand the network with the goal of making it easier to safely travel to Hawai‘i,” said Gov. Ige.

The state plans to begin accepting test results from additional trusted testing partners on Nov. 17.

Two requirements and at least one of six criteria must be met for an entity to become a trusted testing partner:

Requirement One – The ability to provide testing services, including specimen collection, and processing of the specimens at laboratories that are licensed or certified under the Clinical Laboratories Improvement Amendments for nucleic acid amplification testing for COVD-19, as approved or authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration, pursuant to the Emergency Use Authorization. Tele-health is acceptable, however, all sample taking must be observed.

The State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health will undertake a further review with respect to the equipment and methodologies and determine the ultimate suitability of the testing offering.

Requirement Two – The ability to provide travelers with their test results on the Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Test Result Form. Nothing else is acceptable. This form will be provided to those entities who are selected to be trusted testing partners for use going forward.

In addition, at least one of six criteria must be met:

Criteria One – The organization has either physical locations or the ability to reach travelers, such as mail-in, observed sample taking, in at least 10 states.

Criteria Two – The organization has a strong presence in one or more of these areas/locations:

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Portland, OR
  • Seattle, WA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Colorado
  • Midwest
  • The tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut

Criteria Three – The organization has an existing contractual relationship with an airport to provide traveler COVID-19 testing services.

Criteria Four – The organization has an existing contractual relationship with an airline to provide traveler COVID-19 testing services.

Criteria Five – The organization has an existing contractual relationship with a hotel or hotels located in Hawaiʻi to provide traveler COVID-19 testing services.

Criteria Six – The organization is a government entity that provides traveler COVID-19 testing services.
All submissions will be reviewed and vetted by a three-member panel representing the state departments of Health and Transportation and the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency. The panel will have sole discretion in the selection of entities that will be included in the second tranche of trusted testing partners.

Timeline:

  • Interested parties must submit the required information to SOHSAFETRAVELSPLANTTP@HAWAII.GOV by 2 p.m. Hawaiʻi Standard Time (HST) on Nov. 5, 2020.
  • On Nov. 6, the three-member panel will review all responses and select finalists for further vetting at 4:30 p.m. HST.
  • From Nov. 7-13, further vetting of the finalists and their testing equipment and methodology will be conducted by state agencies.
  • No later than Nov. 13, a Letter of Understanding between the state and the approved organizations will be executed.
  • On Nov. 17, the second tranche of trusted testing partners goes live.

The state continues to work on increasing inter-county testing options and will be issuing more information shortly.