FEDS GIVE GREEN LIGHT TO TEST TOURISTS BEFORE ARRIVAL
“Promises quicker and safer opening of our economy”
News Release from Reps Bob McDermott and Gene Ward May 20, 2020
HONOLULU—Rep. Gene Ward (R-17 Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley), after working with the White House for weeks seeking clarification if Hawaii could require COVID-19 testing for all visitors before arrival, today received word that nothing in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations that prohibits the state from requiring such testing.
“This is the breakthrough we have been waiting for," said Rep. Ward. "It signals to the Governor and the Legislature that they can now act to safely and systematically open our visitor industry." "While testing visitors before arrival is not fail-safe, it is the best bet we have for protecting our flight attendants, airline crew, hotel workers, visitors, and locals alike."
The only caveat, Ward was told, was that a passenger could not be refused entry onto the plane without a test. However, the passenger would knowingly be under a 14-day mandatory quarantine and tested upon arrival.
"The priority of our plan is to protect our local residents while also allowing them to safely provide for their families. We have a moral and civic duty to do this," said Rep. Bob McDermott (R-40 Ewa, Ewa Villages, Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point), a member of the House Select Committee on COVID-19. "Now that the FAA and DOT have cleared the way, the sky's the limit."
Representatives Ward and McDermott spent the past two months researching and seeking input for their publication released this week to the House Select Committee on COVID-19 entitled "Making Hawaii Safe for Travel." The 23-page framework outlines the full COVID-19 testing procedures, its logic, and practical applications to restart Hawaii's visitor industry without creating a second wave of COVID-19.
“Bottom line: Today is great news for Hawaii. It shows we’re on the right track to reopen our economy safely and in the best interest of our communities," they concluded.
KITV: Feds give green light to test tourists prior to their arrival in Hawaii -- Nothing in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations that prohibits the state from requiring such testing.