Test to allow Japanese visitors to bypass Hawaii quarantine

HONOLULU (AP) — Starting next week, Hawaii will begin allowing visitors from Japan to bypass the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement if they test negative for COVID-19.

But Japanese travelers will still have to spend two weeks in quarantine upon returning home, which will likely limit the number of people taking advantage of the plan.

The testing option takes effect on Nov. 6. Travelers must take a COVID-19 test from an approved clinic or hospital in Japan within 72 hours of their departure.

Hawaii earlier this month implemented a similar testing program for travelers from other parts of the U.S.

Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy gets more travelers from Japan than any other foreign country. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the state would welcome about 5,000 visitors from Japan daily. Those numbers have dwindled to almost none.

Due to the pandemic, Japan continues to prohibit entry to Americans except for exceptional circumstances.

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