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

Darnell Taylor
September 28, 2020

It will start on October 15th, flyers from San Francisco bound for Hawaii will be given the option to order an at-home testing kit or reserve a time for rapid tests at the airports.

If you opt for the self-collected test, you must submit your sample within 72 hours of travel via overnight mail or an airport dropbox, United said.

Hawaiian Airlines is giving travellers the chance to bypass the state's mandatory quarantine with new drive-through COVID-19 testing.

United said the tests will be made available on October 15, and they could make it easier for passengers to manage quarantine requirements and entry conditions.

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The airlines have also been calling on government officials in the US and the European Union to establish a joint coronavirus testing program to kick-start worldwide air travel, but no such agreement on testing protocols has been reached.

Hawaiian Holdings Inc.'s first drive-through nasal swab testing labs will be located near the Los Angeles and San Francisco global airports and operated by Worksite Labs, based in Long Beach, California. All arriving passengers, adults and children, will be required to take a test prior to their arrival in Hawai'i.

Airlines have been urging governments worldwide to consider Covid-19 testing for passengers before global flights as an alternative to travel bans. GoHealth Urgent Care's dedicated COVID-19 testing area will be available from 9 a.m.to 6 p.m. PT daily.

"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)", Avi Mannis, the airline's senior vice president of marketing, said in a news release announcing the testing program. "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". The state has said it will work with "approved trusted testing partners" Kaiser Permanente and CVS pharmacies and noted that it requires FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification testing by nasal swab. The companies haven't announced testing locations, except to say that they will be convenient to LAX and SFO, and that testing will cost $90 for results within three days or $150 for day-of-travel express service.

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