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Health News

Hawaii to allow pre-travel test option to skip quarantine on arrival

FILE PHOTO: A Hawaii National Guardsman checks the temperature of a traveler at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S., April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Marco Garcia

(Reuters) - Hawaii Governor David Ige said on Wednesday the state’s pre-travel testing progam would give travelers the option of potentially avoiding a 14-day quarantine period on arrival from next month.

The pre-travel testing option, which begins on Oct. 15, is seen as one of the key measures for revitalizing state's tourism-focused economy, while providing protection for the spread of COVID-19, according to a statement bit.ly/2FFHITF from the governor's office.

The pre-travel testing program, originally planned to be implemented in August, was postponed as coronavirus cases spiked.

“As an alternative to quarantine a traveler must produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test no earlier than 72-hours prior to their flight arrival in Hawaii,” the statement added.

Tourism is a big part of Hawaii’s economy - more than 10.4 million visitors came to the islands last year, supporting some 216,000 jobs in a population of around 1.4 million, according to the state tourism authority.

Hawaii has reported 10,844 cases of the new coronavirus and 100 deaths, according to Reuters tally as of Sept. 16.

Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson

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