Hawaii has seen more than 30,000 arrivals since launch of traveler testing program

Hawaii has seen more than 30,000 arrivals since launch of traveler testing program
Hawaii saw about 30,000 passengers over the weekend. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than 31,000 trans-Pacific passengers have landed in Hawaii since the launch of the traveler testing program Thursday, state tourism figures show.

The arrivals numbers includes about 20,000 visitors and 10,000 returning residents, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said. Although the figures are far shy of the 30,000 arrivals a day the state typically saw before the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a significant uptick compared to when tourism was shut down.

Even so, the arrivals numbers are higher than what the state expected to see.

“We need to start reviving our economy so people can get back to work,” said Gov. David Ige, speaking Monday on a Facebook Live with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

On Wednesday, the day before the pre-travel testing program program launched, the state saw about 2,000 passengers. On Thursday, the first day of the program, there were more than 10,000 arrivals.

The pre-travel testing program allows trans-Pacific arrivals to forgo quarantine if they present a negative COVID-19 test.

Green said based on the first few days of the program, things seem to be going well.

“The Safe Travels opening has been successful so far. We’ve tested almost everybody. Anybody who didn’t get a test went into quarantine,” Green said, adding that there were “bumpy roads on occasion during the day.”

Though there was some confusion arising over trusted, and non-trusted sites for testing.

Gov. David Ige confirms that through Sunday, COVID tests taken at non-trusted sources were being accepted in order for travelers to avoid quarantine.

The state says it’s allowing the temporary exemption in order to work through the initial issues of launching the program.

In terms of inter-county travel, on Saturday the governor named eight business partners that are now considered to be trusted sites to administer tests.

The governor also said he’s working with more businesses on the mainland to expand the trusted partner list for pre-travel tests.

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