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HONOLULU — Hawaiian Airlines is giving travellers the chance to bypass the state’s mandatory quarantine with new drive-through COVID-19 testing.
Launched in partnership with Worksite Labs, the new pre-travel program will give travellers access to drive-through PCR testing at a cost of US$90 for results within 36 hours, or $150 for day-of-travel express service. Dedicated labs will initially be located near Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) international airports, with more testing locations coming soon at other U.S. mainland gateways.
The airline expects to start offering the Droplet Digital PCR shallow nasal swab tests around Oct. 15. Travellers who test negative within 72 hours of departure will be exempt from Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
“As Hawaii’s leading airline, it is critical to ensure that access to testing does not impede travel to Hawaii for visitors or our residents,” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines. “our testing option will offer Los Angeles and Bay Area travellers superior value and we look forward to expanding the program and bringing additional choices to more of our gateway cities as we welcome guests back with our industry-leading Hawaiian hospitality, while keeping our community safe.”
Although the Canada-U.S. border will remain closed until at least Oct. 21, the option to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory quarantine will certainly be appealing to Canadians when they are finally able to travel south of the border. Last year, 535,000 Canadians visited the Aloha state.
In addition to offering convenient testing, Hawaiian has implemented a health and safety program that covers all aspects of the flight experience. New measures include a health acknowledgment form that travellers must complete at check-in, mandatory face masks or coverings while at the airport and during the flight, frequent disinfecting of lobby areas, kiosks and ticket counters, electrostatic aircraft cabin spraying, plexiglass barriers at airport counters, and sanitizer wipe distribution to all guests. The airline, which as been operating a reduced schedule since March, will also continue to leave 70% cabin capacity through October to allow for onboard distancing.
All travellers arriving in Hawaii or flying between the islands must now also complete the state’s online Safe Travels Hawaii form.
To read Travelweek’s recent interview with the Hawaii Tourism Authority, during which Market Manager Laci Goshi discussed possible flights from Canada and new safety protocols, click here.