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Hawaiian, United Airlines to Offer Drive-Through Pre-Travel COVID-19 Tests

September 25, 2020, 9:42 AM HST
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PC: Hawaiian Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines will be offering drive-through COVID-19 tests in select US mainland gateways, allowing travelers to bypass Hawai‘i’s 14-day quarantine.

This announcement comes as the state gets ready to begin its pre-travel testing program, starting on Oct. 15. State officials hope the program will bring back tourism while also keeping communities safe from the potential spread of the coronavirus.

Travelers will be exempt from the state’s 14-day quarantine if they return a negative result after submitting to a test 72 hours prior to arrival in Hawai‘i. All arriving passengers, adults and children, will be required to take a test prior to their arrival in Hawai‘i. If the results are not available by the time they get to the state, officials say, those travelers will be required to quarantine until results are returned.

United Airlines has partnered with Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care to provide onsite rapid COVID-19 testing to designated travelers at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The program will begin on October 15, and will be offered to all US residents traveling on United from SFO to any Hawaiian destination.

United first partnered with GoHealth Urgent Care in July to test its international flight crews at SFO. United now plans to expand that testing infrastructure to include customers who wish to be tested for COVID-19 pre-flight. Customers can schedule their visits online in advance for the on-site testing facility that is located at the international terminal and will receive their results in approximately 15 minutes. GoHealth Urgent Care’s dedicated COVID-19 testing area will be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT daily.

United Airlines. Website photo.

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“We are excited about expanding our partnership with United and continuing to support their proactive safety measures,” said Todd Latz, CEO of GoHealth Urgent Care. “Our on-site, real-time testing for passengers is yet another example of GoHealth’s nationwide efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 and ensure a safer return to normal activities and business operations.”

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Hawaiian has partnered with Worksite Labs. For results within 36 hours the cost is $90 or $150 for day-of-travel express service.

“Worksite Labs is proud to offer Hawaiian this innovative solution as we work to combat the current pandemic and provide more testing options so travelers can understand their COVID-19 status and enjoy their trip to Hawai‘i while stimulating the local economy,” said Gary Frazier, CEO of Worksite Labs.

Hawai‘i’s hometown carrier expects to start offering the Droplet Digital PCR shallow nasal swab tests – a “gold standard” COVID-19 screening that meets state of Hawai‘i guidelines – around Oct. 15. Hawaiian’s initial labs will be operational near Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO) international airports, with more testing locations coming soon at its other US mainland gateways.

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“As Hawai’i’s leading airline, it is critical to ensure that access to testing does not impede travel to Hawai‘i, for visitors or our kama‘āina (residents),” said Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines. “Our testing option will offer Los Angeles and Bay Area travelers superior value and we look forward to expanding the program and bringing additional choices to more of our gateway cities as we welcome guests back with our industry-leading Hawaiian hospitality, while keeping our community safe. We’re grateful to the state of Hawai‘i for its partnership in developing the pre-travel testing program.”

Hawaiian Airlines is actively developing additional testing partnerships to support travelers’ needs, with more to be announced soon. In addition to offering its guests testing, Hawaiian has implemented a comprehensive health and safety program covering all aspects of their journey.

Starting at check-in, guests must complete a health acknowledgment form indicating they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and will wear an adequate face mask or covering at the airport and during the flight. Guests 2 years of age and older who are unable to wear a face mask or covering due to a medical condition or disability must undergo a health screening to board.

All travelers arriving in Hawai‘i or flying between the islands must now also complete the state’s online Safe Travels Hawai‘i form.

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