Air Canada & WestJet partnering with State of Hawaii for Canadian pre-travel testing

Air Canada & WestJet partnering with State of Hawaii for Canadian pre-travel testing

Pre-travel COVID-19 testing results must be in hand prior to departure for Hawaiʻi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 20, 2020


HONOLULU, November 20, 2020 – Gov. David Ige announced today that starting on Nov. 24, travellers wishing to bypass the 14-day mandatory quarantine must have their COVID-19 test results – from a trusted testing partner – prior to departure for the State of Hawaiʻi. If test results are not available before boarding the final leg of the trip, the traveller must quarantine for 14 days or the length of the stay, whichever is shorter. 


“We’re taking this added safety precaution now in response to the dramatically increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the continental United States and around the world. The health of our residents and visitors is our primary concern, especially as more people travel to Hawaiʻi to celebrate the holidays,” said Gov. Ige. 


The new policy applies to domestic transpacific flights and international flights departing from locations in which the State of Hawaiʻi pre-testing programs are in place. 

Canadian pre-travel testing program
Gov. Ige also announced that beginning in mid-December, travellers 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. Travellers 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.


“Many Canadians love to visit Hawaiʻi during the winter months to escape the cold weather, so the timing for this works well. Hawaiʻi has the most rigorous pre-travel testing program in the United States, and we’re grateful to Air Canada and WestJet for making it available to their passengers,” said Gov. David Ige.


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.” 


“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 flights to Honolulu and Maui from Vancouver launching on December 17 and our four-times weekly flights to Maui from Calgary starting on December 18,” said Timothy Liu, Managing Director, Sales Planning at Air Canada. 


Safety remains our number one priority and we are thankful to the Government of Hawaii for providing this opportunity for Canadians to enjoy all that Hawaii has to offer while safely supporting the tourism industry,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “WestJet’s teams are working hard to rebuild confidence in air travel through important partnerships like this one with the Government of Hawaiʻi and DynaLIFE. With pre-departure and arrivals testing now available through the collaborative efforts of the Governments of Canada, the Government of Alberta and the Calgary International Airport our guests have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy safe and enjoyable travel without the rigorous quarantine requirements.”


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.

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