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Ige pushes pretravel testing to Oct. 1 at ‘earliest’

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

A few days after signaling the pretravel testing program would be delayed for the second time, Gov. David Ige announced Tuesday that it will be pushed to Oct. 1 at the soonest.

“We had planned to begin the pretravel testing program on Sept. 1,” he said during an afternoon news conference on Oahu. “I am announcing today that we are delaying the start of the pretravel testing. It will not begin until Oct. 1 at the earliest.”

The program, designed for transpacific travelers to bypass the state’s 14-day quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure, was originally slated to start Aug. 1 and then postponed to Sept. 1.

“We will continue to monitor the conditions here in Hawaii as well as key markets on the Mainland to determine the appropriate start date for the pretravel testing program,” Ige said. “We will be making that announcement in time so that the hospitality industry would have the time they need to staff up and begin to support the pretravel testing program.”

Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also announced tighter social gathering restrictions for Oahu, which has seen triple-digit new cases over more than two weeks. Ige said that Neighbor Islands will remain in their current “Act with Care” phase since cases are lower.

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