Hawaii lawmaker wants to include PH in pre-travel testing program
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hawaii lawmaker wants to include PH in pre-travel testing program

/ 11:02 AM December 29, 2020
Hawaii has a pre-travel coronavirus testing program that allows travelers to avoid quarantine, SCREENSHOT

Hawaii has a pre-travel coronavirus testing program that allows travelers to avoid quarantine, SCREENSHOT

A Hawaii lawmaker, State Representative John Mizuno, wants Governor David Ige to include travelers to the Philippines in the state’s pre-travel COVID-19 testing program.

Currently, Japanese and Canadians are the only international travelers allowed to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory 10-day quarantine with negative COVID-19 results from approved testing partners.

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In a letter to the Governor, Mizuno wrote that Filipinos have deep cultural ties to the state — about 1 in 4 Hawaii residents are of Filipino ancestry — and including them on the list of partner countries would further protect the community.

The Philippine Consulate General told KITV-4 it welcomes the idea and hopes the state will approve it.

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But some believe the idea needs more community input and rethinking, especially with the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

“It’s a little too premature to do this at this time, particularly during the holiday seasons,” said longtime community advocate Amy Agbayani, who warns against sending mixed messages to Filipinos — a group with the second highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state.

“We should have a lot more messaging actually at this time, not to encourage any type of travel, but to encourage our Filipino community, to wear a mask, social distance, wash their hands and not have large gatherings,” Agbayani said. “We should actually follow the strictest rules possible and also really make sure that we understand what the conditions are in the Philippines.”

State officials have said they plan to expand the pretravel testing program to Taiwan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

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TAGS: Covid-19 testing, Covid-testing travelers, Hawaii Governor David Ige, Hawaii pandemic travel policy, Hawaii pretravel testing program, State Representative John Mizuno
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