At the news conference, representatives from both carriers applauded today’s announcement as another step toward strengthening Hawai‘i’s gradual economic recovery. They also noted that this health and science-based approach will help build confidence in travel.
The new pre-testing policy will apply to people flying to Hawai‘i from Canada. Governor Ige also announced this afternoon that two Canadian airlines will resume service to the islands in mid-December. These travelers can by-pass the 14-day quarantine if they take a COVID-19 test from an approved laboratory, 72-hours prior to departure and have received a negative result prior to departure.
Gov. Ige said, “Many Canadians love to visit Hawai‘i during the winter months to escape the cold weather, so the timing for this works well. Hawai‘i has the most rigorous pre-testing program in the U.S., and we are grateful to Air Canada and WestJet for making it available to their passengers.”
Maui Mayor Michael P. Victorino remarked, “We look forward to welcoming travelers from Canada and ask them to visit with aloha, to follow health and safety protocols and to take part in our voluntary post-arrival testing to ensure they are free of COVID-19.”
Gov. Ige also announced that beginning in mid-December, travelers flying from Canada to Hawaiʻi may bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine if they take a COVID-19 test from labs identified by Air Canada and WestJet. The test must be taken within 72 hours of travel to the State of Hawai‘i, and a negative test result must be received prior to departure. 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.
Air Canada and WestJet will be identifying testing entities in Canada, with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health’s approval, for purposes of the pre-testing program. Canadian residents should look to these Canadian-based carriers for the testing options in their country:
- Air Canada: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home.html#/
- WestJet: https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/travel-info/covid-testing
The pre-travel testing program is one layer of the state’s comprehensive Safe Travels Hawaiʻi program that makes every step of the travel process safer – from pre-arrival testing to post-arrival accommodations and experiences.
“The Safe Travels Hawaii pre-travel testing program has been a valuable extra layer of safety for the state of Hawaii and is being emulated across the country by other states,” Lt. Gov Josh Green said. “We look forward to welcoming our friends and family from Canada and appreciate the efforts of WestJet and Air Canada to make the process as safe and smooth as possible.”
“We’re pleased that we’re able to work with partners to open up travel for Canadian visitors. We look forward to welcoming travelers from Canada and ask them to visit with aloha, following health and safety protocols and taking part in voluntary post-arrival testing to ensure that they are free of COVID-19,” said Mayor Michael P. Victorino, Maui County.
“The resumption of transpacific travel from Canada will strengthen Hawai‘i’s gradual economic recovery; and HTA extends its gratitude to Air Canada, WestJet and to all of our travel partners across Canada. Concurrently, the stricter test result requirement announced by the governor today is a prudent and urgent response to thwarting the spread of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i, while our local visitor industry sustains its leadership efforts in restoring jobs and the economy of Hawai‘i,” said Hawai‘i Tourism Authority president and CEO John De Fries.
“We welcome Gov. Ige’s announcement today designating Air Canada as one of Hawaiʻi’s Trusted Travel partners and extending the State of Hawaiʻi’s pre-travel testing program to Air Canada’s customers. Programs like this that provide viable, effective and alternative options to blanket quarantine requirements, are an important step to safely reopen travel around the world. We look forward to our Honolulu and Maui flights from Vancouver and Calgary starting mid-December onboard our state-of-the-art Dreamliner aircraft, featuring our industry-leading Air Canada ClearCare+ biosafety measures,” said Timothy Liu, Managing Director, Sales Planning at Air Canada.
“On behalf of WestJet and our guests, thank you to Gov. Ige, the State of Hawai’i and the teams involved in Hawai’i’s Trusted Travel Partner Program. This health and science-based approach to eliminating quarantine will help build confidence in travel to your beautiful state and is an important step in getting the tourism and travel industry back up and running while safely supporting the many Canadians who view Hawaiʻi as an wonderful winter getaway,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer.
Canadian nationals traveling abroad are still subject to a 14-day quarantine upon their return to the country. Travel restrictions on U.S. travel to Canada remain in place.