Hawaiian Airlines Looks To Introduce Drive Through COVID Testing

Hawaiian Airlines announced today that it would begin opening drive-though testing sites for COVID-19 from October 15th. The testing sites will be located near select Hawaiian hubs in mainland states. Any passengers who receive a negative test result within 72 hours of traveling will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Hawai’i. The cost of the test varies depending on how fast the test results are delivered.

Hawaiian Airlines COVID-19 testing
Hawaiian Airlines is working with a partner lab and the state of Hawaii to provide drive-through COVID-19 testing. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

Drive-through testing

Hawaiian Airlines is doing everything it can to encourage tourists to visit the island state. Including working with Worksite Labs to create a series of testing facilities in several mainland states. The test sites will offer drive-by nasal swab testing for Hawaiian Airlines passengers, allowing them to bypass Hawai’i’s 14-day quarantine rule.

The first two testing sites will open to travelers from October 15th. One test site will be close to Los Angeles International Airport, and the other will be located near San Francisco airport. The locations were determined by Worksite labs, which are based in Long Beach, California.

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Emirates issues covid-19 blood tests
Unlike other testing, which occurs at the airport, Hawaiian Airlines will operate drive-through locations to encourage testing before flying. Photo: Emirates

The tests will be Droplet Digital PCR shallow nasal swab tests that meet the guidelines provided by the state of Hawaii. Passengers with negative tests will not have to quarantine in Hawaii. The test results take 36 hours and cost $90. An express day-of-travel service offers results within a few hours for a cost of $150.

Most sites coming soon

In a statement on its website, Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines, said, “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)”

Hawaiian confirmed it is reaching out to other testing partners to open more sites across the US soon. The airline said it would announce new testing locations soon. It’s current testing partner, Worksite Labs added to the airline’s statement saying,” “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.”

Even if passengers receive a negative test from Hawaiian’s new drive-through testing sites, they will still have to fill in a health form before flying. The form ensures people are free of symptoms and are aware of face-masks rules while staying in Hawai’i and while flying with Hawaiian Airlines. Any passenger over the age of two must wear a mask while traveling.

Hawaiian masks
Passengers will still have to wear masks while traveling and on the island. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

Tourism boost

Hawai’i’s new testing sites indicate that the island is missing its usual tourism revenue stream. Tourism is a significant part of the island’s economy. The island has so far avoided the high number of cases seen across the mainland states. However, it has been affected by COVID-19 in a different way.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Hawai’i jumped from around 16,00 to 150,000 in just two months. The unemployment rate was 23%. That’s 10% higher than the national average. Perhaps, if tourists don’t need to quarantine, the island’s economy will start to recover.

What do you think of Hawaiian’s new testing sites? Should other airlines follow suit? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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