UPDATE TO HAWAII’S PRE-TRAVEL TESTING PROGRAM
It’s been a little over two weeks since Hawaii implemented their COVID-19 Pre-travel testing program. It started out a bit rocky with many people having to quarantine after arriving in Hawaii, due to delayed test results. I spoke with one traveler who waited a full ten days to get his test results. He then had to wait two more days after uploading the results to Hawaii’s website to get his official Quarantine Release.
With all this in mind, below are a few tips I found in the Honolulu Star Advertiser that may help speed you through the process.
Tips for Hawaii travelers who want to expedite exemptions from quarantine:
Ko Olina closed their lagoons to the Public (and resort residents) fairly early in the COVID-19 pandemic for safety reasons. The lagoons were opened once or twice during the past few months, but the parking lots remained closed. If you wanted to swim in the lagoons at this time, you had to either walk to the lagoons, or have someone drop you off. There were periods when you could swim in the lagoons but were not allowed to sit on the beaches. Other times the lagoon walkways & comfort stations were closed and those who wanted to walk in the resort had to walk along the streets and sidewalks rather than the lagoons.
Like with a lot of rules and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic this became quite confusing to most everyone involved. All this was done in the interest of safety. Trying to keep the public, resort residents and resort employees safe.
The closing of the lagoons and beaches, perhaps along with the confusion upset quite a few people. Residents of the resort complained, as did neighbors of the resort. There were editorials written in the local papers and comments left on news sites and of course on social media. Eventually, the City & County of Honolulu told resort management they had to open the beaches and parking lots. After what seemed like several days of discussions between the city and the resort, the beaches. and lagoons were opened to the public on October 16.
As of this writing, social distancing must still be practiced while at the lagoons and on the beach. Groups at the lagoons are limited to a maximum of five people and masks must be worn when people are not in the water. Some of those restrictions will be relaxed if the County moves into Tier 2 of their reopening plan. Although the lagoons, beaches and parking lots have been opened, parking at lagoons 1 & 4 is at only 50% at this time with every other parking space blocked off.
The lagoons, beaches and parking lots are open again. Yes, there are restrictions and parking is more limited than usual but I believe most people are happy about all that. Even on a recent cloudy day the beaches were busy with families enjoying themselves. Remember, COVID-19 Virus is still a danger and Ko Olina Management is trying to keep people safe.
Hawaii’s pre-travel testing program for Trans-Pacific travelers is still on schedule to launch on Oct. 15, allowing trans-Pacific travelers to bypass quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 before arriving. While the tests for travelers are slated to be available through Walgreens, CVS, Kaiser Permanente and other partners, some airlines are also rolling out their own testing programs to woo travelers back to air travel.
Beginning: Oct. 12
Alaska Airlines is partnering with healthcare provider Carbon Health to offer rapid COVID-19 testing in pop-up clinics across the West Coasts, beginning Oct. 12 in Seattle.
Cost: $135 for Alaska flyers, and will be ready within two hours
Testing is available for Alaska passengers 3 months and older.
Beginning: Oct. 15
Location: Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
American Airlines will offer three options for pre-flight COVID-19 testing to customers with flights from DFW to Honolulu and Maui.
Cost: $129 for the at-home option. American will release details later on the cost of other options.
Beginning: “Around Oct. 15”
Location: Labs located near Los Angeles and San Francisco International airports
Hawaiian Airlines will offer a drive-thru PCR test to customers traveling from California to Hawaii. Hawaiian Airlines said that more testing locations will be announced later at “other U.S. mainland gateways.”
Beginning: Oct. 15
Location: San Francisco International Airport
Location: Oakland Airport
Beginning: Oct. 15
Location: Facility at the airport’s North Field terminal complex, 9070 Earhart Road.
Oakland Airport officials have also announced they will launch their own pre-travel testing program for passengers. Free tests will be conducted by appointment only by CityHealth Urgent Care.
Information provided by Hawaii News Now on October 1. Below is a link to their video & story.
Larry here with Ola Properties with some good news. Yesterday on September 16th, Governor David Ige of Hawaii announced that effective October 15th, the 14-day quarantine for transpacific travelers would no longer be needed if they get a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to arrival.
Now, this may sound a bit familiar to you as I think this may be the third time he’s said it and I’m pretty sure that a couple of months ago, I made a very similar video saying very similar things and that didn’t happen. However, I’m much more optimistic about this one today. I just have a feeling that this one might actually stick and effective October 15th it will be much easier for us to welcome travelers back to the state. The governor has stated that the state has a contract with CVS pharmacies, as well as Kaiser Permanente to do the testing, and that’s all in place so that’s part of what makes me feel much more optimistic about this.
So let’s hope that everything works out and October 15th things will open up a little more.
If COVID-19 has resulted in you working from home, consider a change in scenery and start working remotely in Oahu! All of our rentals in Oahu come equipped with High-Speed Internet ensuring smooth Zoom calls, fast download speeds, and that e-mails are being sent and received! Having the flexibility to walk to the beach or relax on your own lanai will make your workdays much more bearable!
We have a fantastic selection of vacation rentals in Ko Olina, Makaha, and West Oahu, providing options that are perfect for everyone. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions and be sure to book your stay today! We look forward to seeing you soon! Mahalo!
Beginning August 1, 2020, all out-of-state travelers will be required to obtain a valid COVID-19 pre-travel test before their arrival in Hawai’i, and to verify proof of a negative test result in order to avoid the 14-day quarantine.
Out-of-state travelers arriving in Hawai‘i must obtain a PCR test prior to their arrival from any Hawai‘i State Department of Health approved testing location. Evidence of a negative test result must be provided upon arrival in Hawai‘i. Without a negative test result, out-of-state travelers will be subject to the 14-day quarantine. Testing will NOT be provided upon arrival at the airport.
The Hawai’i State Department of Health is still developing this program but is anticipating that they will need an FDA-approved test from a CLIA certified laboratory. It is expected that travelers will be required to provide a printed or emailed pre-test document with evidence of a negative test result. Travelers will be responsible for the cost of these pre-travel tests.
Temperatures will also continue to be checked at airports across the state, and anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 degrees, or is experiencing other symptoms, will be required to undergo a secondary screening at the airport with trained healthcare staff. Travelers will also be required to fill out the State Travel and Health form when visiting Hawaii.
If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to contact us, and be sure to visit our Facebook for more updates!
With COVID-19 still affecting businesses and travel, we have created a relaxed rental cancellation policy in Oahu for when you book one of our West Oahu vacation rentals. We want to make sure you feel comfortable when reserving one of our properties and hope that this new policy helps!
Be sure to check out our vacation rentals in Ko-Olina and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your stay; we are staying updated on status changes in Oahu!
Planning on taking a trip and not sure which option is best for you? Here are a few tips to help you get started on planning the perfect getaway.
A vacation rental might be a better option if you are traveling with more than one couple, as a family, or a group of friends. The cost tends to be cheaper than renting more than one hotel room if you are staying for a longer period. Many rentals require a minimum stay, usually 3-7 nights. A Vacation Rental can also help cut costs on food. With a Vacation Rental you can buy groceries and cook rather than going out for meals.
Rentals also offer more privacy for a more intimate experience with friends and family. You can “meet in the living room” (or kitchen) rather than going to the lobby to meet your party. In a hotel room, you’re likely confined to one room. That makes it difficult to stay up and hang out if there are people who prefer to go to sleep early.
However, if you enjoy the amenities that a hotel offers, you may want to reconsider. Breakfast is usually not provided, and the owners of the rental may not clean your room during your stay without an extra fee. You will not have a front desk to help you, so you may on your own. At Ola Properties some of our Ko Olina vacation rental homes are in buildings with a front desk. Also, we have people answering phones 24 hours a day in case of emergencies.
If you are not planning a long stay or are traveling alone or with one other person, a hotel may be a better option for you. In a hotel, you’ll likely have breakfast included, they’ll clean your room, change your sheets, and give you fresh towels at no extra charge.
In addition to amenities, you’ll have round the clock assistance from the front desk. If you have questions, they will be there to answer them, and you are usually provided things such as robes, toiletries, and slippers.
Privacy tends to be less available in a hotel, due to other guests and being confined to a single room. It’s not likely that you will have a kitchen, so you’ll need to budget for the cost of meals, which can add up to a significant amount of money. However, if you don’t mind spending extra money for the convenience, a hotel room will do you just fine.
If you decide a Vacation Rental is the best option for you, browse our Ola Properties Vacation Rental Page to book your next stay on the Leeward Coast of Oahu.