Hawaii will soon allow travelers from Japan to enter without undergoing quarantine, as long as they present a negative Covid-19 test before flying.
This is the first time Hawaii has allowed travelers from outside of the United States to do so since the pandemic began.
The program follows the same guidelines as flights coming from the US mainland, with travelers required to get a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of travel from a group of pre-approved testing providers.
“Many of Hawaii’s families trace their ancestry back to Japan,” Hawaii Gov. David Ige said Tuesday, “And welcoming our Japanese guests back to Hawaii is an important step in maintaining the close relationship between our two regions.”
The first flight from Hawaii to Japan is expected to arrive on November 6, with only 10 such flights scheduled for the entire month. If there are no unexpected problems, Hawaii Airlines, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways intend to significantly increase the number of flights from Japan to Hawaii in December.
“Welcoming visitors from a country that's so dear to us is important,” Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green said.
Discussions are already underway with the governments of Canada, South Korea, Thailand and New Zealand about expanding the program to those countries.