True or false? Is Hawaii welcoming visitors with open arms?
What is needed for visit Hawaii during COVID-19?
The Hawaii Governor wants people to believe the leaders in the Hawaii Tourism Industry include John de Fries, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, CEO Mufi Hannemann of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, president Hawaii Visitors and Convention Buerau John Monahan are doing a great job.
If they do, they certainly keep their work for themselves.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 non of these “leaders” and their agencies answers phone calls, respond to emails with a relative answer or invited eTurboNews to ask questions.
Good solutions and ideas never have a chance to be heard, and in the meantime the State of Hawaii is spending record amounts of tax payers money without the chance of a fair evaluation and discussion.
Public relations activities seem to be only designed to shield these leaders from those that could contribute or could ask questions.
Asking questions are seen as a threat by HTA, HVCB, HLTA. They are even seen as a bigger threat by the Governor. Phones are never answered and most voicemailboxes are full. This pattern also includes legislatures that are elected to represent.
The exception is outgoing Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. A good part of his job is to keep the media and the public informed. He was never afraid to make his own decision based on firm judgment. You see mayor Caldwell waling Waikiki Beach handing out flyers to remind visitors about the mask requirement in his city.
The true heroes are also frontline workers. Waiting for 6 hours to speak to a GO-HAWAII representative will be rewarding because you actually interact with a person who is based in Hawaii and who seems to care.
For the Hawaii Tourism Authority not hiring more people to answer GO-HAWAII calls is puzzling. There are so many unemployed experts to choose from.
Especially now, tourism is a very competitive business, and Hawaii must shine, give a feeling it’s functioning, and a message it wants tourists to come back. The message tourists have overburdened the state is wrong and will result in visitors choosing other more welcoming destinations.
Law enforcement, the Aloha Ambassador, health care workers, hotel workers – these are the heroes that contribute to relaunching the vital travel and tourism industry.
In the meantime, the enormous amount of confusion on pre-arrival testing continues. When coming in from outside the U.S. it’s not possible to make appointments during a stop over on the way to Hawaii, but airlines are getting creative and are doing a good job facilitating all these requirements in COVID-19 times.
A Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson told eTurboNews: “Confirming that if our guests have an appointment at our Worksite lab location near SFO they can use public transportation, ride-sharing, or be dropped off and be tested.”
These airlines understand the pre-travel testing requirements make and break the fragile re-emerging travel and tourism industry for Hawaii.
Airlines have different solutions:
Alaska Airlines – alaskaair.com/content/next-level-care/hawaii
American Airlines – aa.com/covid19testing
Hawaiian Airlines – hawaiianairlines.com/covidtesting
Oakland International Airport – oaklandairport.com
Southwest Airlines – southwest.com/coronavirus
United Airlines – united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/covid-testing.html
Hawaiian Airlines, Hawai‘i’s biggest and longest-serving airline, today became the first U.S. carrier to allow members in its loyalty program to redeem miles for a pre-travel COVID-19 test. HawaiianMiles members across the United States can redeem 14,000 HawaiianMiles to order a mail-in test kit by Vault Health, a state of Hawai‘i trusted testing partner.
Unfortunately, the testing partners are not as broad as tests are limited especially with the growing number of covid cases. There are mail-in and airline options for testing – see the link below. The state will only accept results from their trusted testing and travel partner list.
The state does not offer testing upon arrival. Breaking quarantine could result in fines of up to $5,000 per person.
According to https://hawaiicovid19.com/ the following information applies at this time.
In order to avoid quarantine, a visitor will need to refer https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel.partners/and then choose one of the Trusted Testing and Travel Partners from the link under the DOMESTIC TRANS-PACIFIC TRUSTED TESTING PARTNERS heading There are mail-in options listed as well. Please do not do a general search online, you need to choose a lab only listed on the website above. Your appointment for your test MUST be made from the link above. Please do not Google a lab through a general search. Unfortunately, other labs in your community not listed through the link above, will not be accepted for a pre-test exemption for entry into Hawaii.
The test needs to be taken NO earlier than 72 hours before your flight departure time. If you have a multi-city itinerary, it’s the departure time at the last city before arriving at a Hawaii airport, e.g., if travel is from Denver to SFO, SFO to HNL, it’s the departure time at SFO. The time stamp matters ensuring the test was administered within the 72-hour window as the Artificial Intelligence is scanning for this information. The start of the 72-hour is based on when the sample is taken.
24 hours prior to departure log back into the app to complete the health questionnaire and upload the negative test result. Upon completion, a visitor will receive a QR code. Upon deplaning, the visitor will present QR code.
If test results are not available by the time of arrival in Hawaii, the quarantine will be necessary until test results received and verified. Verification takes 2-3 days. You will be notified via email.
NEGATIVE RESULT – You will be in quarantine until the negative test results are uploaded to your Safe Travel account and reported to the State Department of Health. The state will send you a confirmation and your name will be removed from the quarantine list.
POSITIVE RESULT – Traveler must remain in quarantine. Health services guidance will also be provided by the State Department of Health. If you are traveling with others, they will be required to quarantine in Hawaii for 14 days.
The GoHawaii Team wants tourists to remember to pack and wear face mask!