Governor Ige announced yesterday that the pre-arrivals testing program is slated to begin on October 15th, assuming all goes according to plan.
According to an article in the Star Advertiser today, "The testing program allows travelers who have taken a Food and Drug Administration-approved COVID-19 NAAT test from a CLIA lab and tested negative within 72 hours of traveling to Hawaii to bypass a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for out-of-state passengers that’s been in place since March 26."
However, it goes on to say that for those who don't have their test results back in time, they will be required to quarantine upon arrival until their results are received.
From a wedding standpoint, this is hopeful, but also something to be cautious about. This is a plan that was supposed to begin August 1st, then September 1st, so we'll see if it actually goes off without a hitch on the actual set date. Knowing Hawaii and any new system like this anywhere, I'd expect that it's going to be a bit clunky when people first arrive, and that may mean a long wait at the airport or other confusion. This may not matter so much if you were just coming on vacation, but as a couple about to get married, this uncertainty may create undue stress.
The other thing to consider/note, is what will happen assuming things do open up. If there is a surge in cases, you can expect the program to be shut down in short order so as not to overwhelm our hospitals.
It is also uncertain that they will lift the current limitation of just 10 people allowed to gather in public, outdoors, meaning if you have a larger group expected at your wedding, not everyone may be able to attend.
As a wedding planner, I also want to be sure everyone has fun, but is also safe, and that I am in compliance with all local and state laws. This may mean masking up for much of your wedding ceremony at this time.
Basically, it seems that we are moving in the right direction, but with a lot of uncertainty until things actual get rolling.
If you have a wedding with Simple Kona Beach Weddings, know you are covered (and if your original agreement didn't have this clause, we'll add it!) for postponements/reschedules for up to one year of your original date should Covid-19 travel restrictions keep you from coming. If you are one of our couples and you have questions and/or want to talk about your options, please be in touch!
In the meantime, here's hoping things actually move according to plan, and more smoothly than we could ever imagine!