I was just writing a post about the planning I went through for my first international trip of 2021 (and first since the COVID-19 era began) when I learned of another positive development in the international travel landscape.
Very soon (December), Canadians travelling to Hawaii will be able to avoid a 14 day quarantine on arrival (assuming they test negative of course). To qualify for the exemption you will need to provide proof of negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to your departing flight.
This is huuugely important because combined with the Government of Canada / Alberta pilot project for quarantine reduction, you can vacation to Hawaii without needing to quarantine on arrival in Hawaii or on return to Canada (however this only applies to Albertans ..for now).
There are still several details to be finalized. It looks like the primary testing partner will be DynaLife Dx labs, and the test will cost $150 (which is standard for discretionary testing).
However Dynalife is an Alberta-based private lab testing company. So while Canadians can take advantage of this testing partnership, it may be a bit of an inconvenience for those out of province, who would have to route through Edmonton or Calgary most likely (instead, consider getting tested on a layover at one of the USA’s many testing facilities trusted by State of Hawaii).
Still, highly positive news and indicative of Hawaii’s push to restart tourism. One can only assume they will be vetting other laboratory services throughout Canada (likely Ontario next). The State of Hawaii’s Dept of Transportation required COVID tests to be done using nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) methodology, which DynaLife does offer, so expect this may be a requirement of any more labs they look to accept results from.
The other big question is whether negative test results will be required to board the plane departing from Canada, or only at the Hawaii border. I would hope the former, as the latter implies a tragic scenario where one person’s delayed test result could turn up positive and force everyone aboard the plane into 14-day quarantine. If we’re all paying $150 for our test in order to be safe, and to enjoy our time in Hawaii without being locked away, then the negative test result needs to be a requirement to board!
I will continue to update this post as future details are released from WestJet, Air Canada, or the State of Hawaii’s Dept of Transportation. With things tightening up in Alberta I was beginning to get pessimistic about the prospect of visiting Hawaii in January, but this news really turns the tide, so to speak.
Who knows, maybe Westjet will take it a step further and accept Westjet dollars as payment for my COVID test (HAHA).
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