WestJet, Air Canada reach deal to avoid COVID-19 quarantine in Hawaii

Negative virus test required for Hawaii travelers

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"Safety remains our number one priority and we thank Governor Ige and the State of Hawaii for providing this opportunity for Canadians to enjoy all that the islands have to offer while safely supporting the tourism industry", said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet chief commercial officer.

Canadian citizens will soon be eligible to skip Hawaii's travel quarantine with a negative COVID-19 test.

"We applaud Governor Ige's announcement that Hawaii's science-based, pre-travel testing initiative is now available for Canadians to be exempt from mandatory quarantine requirements on arrival in Hawaii, and we are very pleased Air Canada is a preferred airline in Hawaii's Safe Travels Program", said Timothy Liu, managing director of sales planning at Air Canada.

You need to have been tested and received a negative result within 72 hours of the plane's departure. "As it gets colder there are many Canadians who want to travel and return to Hawaii".

The workaround is possible because the airlines are offering pre-flight COVID-19 testing for passengers.

"We are aware that it would have some impact in the numbers, but we do believe that the pre-travel testing program is working, that all, many of our trusted partners are able to deliver results back to those traveling in a timely way", the governor explained. The program provides a pre-travel testing option to give travellers an alternative option to Hawaii's mandatory 14-day quarantine. This is why I am supportive of our teams move to require test results before people depart for Hawai'i.

Air Canada has routes from Vancouver to Maui and Honolulu starting on December 17 and routes from Calgary to Maui starting the next day.

The testing, which costs $150 CAD per person and is payable by the guest, is now only available in Alberta, the testing is open to all Canadian residents.

Canadian nationals traveling overseas are still subject to a 14-day quarantine upon their return to the country.

Ige said there had been several incidents of travelers arriving without their test results and later testing positive. Travelers without proof of a negative test result prior to boarding their flight to Hawai'i will be required to self-quarantine for 14-days or the length of stay, whichever is shorter. "As an island community, we must take precautions to ensure that our hospitals have the staff, equipment and supplies needed to care for those in need of treatment, whether they have the coronavirus or any other medical condition".

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