OHANA AINA ASSOCIATION

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  • December 22, 2022 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    If you only do one thing this week please share this video across all of your social media.

    This week we made good progress on getting our message through to our elected representatives.  I met with Mayor Roth, Heather Kimball and Dr. Holeka Inaba. All three conversations were very productive.

    <Too Long, Didn’t Read>

    • Rumor Mitigation - Nothing nefarious is going on.  The political process is playing out as per-usual and we have ample opportunity to succeed within it.
    • Platform Involvement - VRBO has agreed in principle to send out communications on our behalf.  We need to get ready for it.
    • Alternative Bill - We’ve drafted an alternative bill.  Give it a read and provide comments to Jennifer if you have any.
    • Direct Action - We took our first direct action this week with mixed results.
    • Items of Concern - Our industry runs the risk of being scapegoated unfairly as the cause of the affordable housing crisis in Hawaii.  We need to get better at telling our story if we want to avoid that outcome.

    </TLDR>

    Rumor Mitigation

    I’ve been talking to a lot of elected officials and I want to put a few rumors to bed.

    1. “This legislation is an ambush on our businesses.” - Heather and Ashley put this legislation out into the community months ahead of introducing it.  If you look at how other legislation has been proposed recently you’ll see that this is not the norm.  They are honestly interested in feedback and I believe they are listening to our message.  

    That said, they can’t get our message if we aren’t broadcasting it so make sure you write them and let them know what you think.

    2. “The legislation seeks to reduce homestays and farmstays in favor of the hotel industry.” - While lobbyists from the hotel industry may be working to restrict competition at both the state and local level, nothing I’ve seen indicates that this is the primary motivation for this bill.

    If lobbyists for the hotel industry are taking action they are most likely promoting the story that homestays and vacation rentals take away from affordable housing.  This seems to be a story that resonates with lawmakers.

    To combat this story we need to stand up and demonstrate that vacation rental income is critical to local families who use it to offset the extreme cost of living here in Hawai’i.  Far from reducing housing availability, the revenue from this industry makes it possible for families to purchase and maintain their homes.

    The best way to tell our story today is to provide a video testimonial to Ryan Leese who is working to create video messaging that tells our story.  A testimonial only takes a few minutes to create and, as you can see in this weeks video, sends a powerful message.  Take a minute and contact Ryan today.

    Platform Involvement

    Expedia ( VRBO ) reached out to us proactively a few weeks ago and I was finally able to circle back and connect with them.  They’ve indicated a willingness to consider sending an email blast to all of the hosts on the Big Island on our behalf.

    We’re anticipating this email will go out in the second week of January so we need to get ready for it.

    Among the actions we need to take:

    1. Polish up our video story(s) so it can be part of the message.
    2. Provide logistical support for listening sessions with Heather, Ashley and the broader community.  The email blast will promote these sessions and ensure they are well attended.  We need to book venues, promote the meetings, provide snacks and attend them in force.
    3. Further refine our definition of the bill so that the general public can understand it.  We will do so honestly, but also in a way that clearly communicates our concerns.

      Short one-page fliers will go further than multi-page detailed analysis, so lets work on creating a concise and honest assessment of what this bill means to our industry, our businesses and our families.
    4. Get our website and messaging configured to recruit paying members.


    We really need folks to step up and take the role of community leaders to help organize their local listening sessions.  If you’re willing to step up, please send me a note:  joshua.montgomery@guardwellfarm.com

    Redline Bill

    Several of our members have been working on an alternate bill that addresses Hawai’i County’s concerns while preserving our right to earn a living.  Chief among them is Jennifer Wilkinson who has done a lion's share of the work.

    Here are links to both the redlined version and a more readable alternate version of this bill.  We’d love to see folks commenting on this in the Ohana Aina Association members forum.  If you’re a member, please log in and give us your viewpoint.  If you are not a member please join.  The dues are very reasonable and we need all the help we can get.

    Direct Action

    We took our first direct action this week by attending Heather Kimball’s talk story session en-mass.  Her call usually only has a half dozen attendees.  We brought more than 40.

    The action was a partial success.  Everyone was polite and I think we made our voices heard, but there were far less of us than is really needed to make our point by numbers.

    Part of this failing is the late notice.  I only sent out the details 2 hours before the meeting and our Facebook group is locked which makes it difficult to message people over social media.

    That said, our group is too small.  There are more than 7,000 families that could be impacted by this bill.  In my household alone we have six: my core family, may farm hand’s family and four cleaning staff’s families.  That is for two addresses.

    We need to do a better job recruiting owners, but also - critically - activating service providers who depend on vacation rental operations as part of their income.

    Items of Concern

    Gov. Green recently appointed Nani Mederios to the state’s new chief of housing and she has indicated a desire to convert vacation rentals into long term housing.  There are a number of ways to do this including enforcing current rules, providing incentives to vacation rental operators and streamlining permitting of density enhancing conversions from un-hosted floorplans to hosted floorplans.  Unfortunately those solutions take resources, consensus building and changes to the bureaucracy.

    Simply attempting to villainize and outlaw our industry is the easy path.

    I’m concerned that without a strong voice at the state level telling the stories of families who are service providers for our industry, hosted operators in our neighborhoods it is easy to make us a scapegoat for systematic failures of leadership.

    To combat this approach we need to organize at the state level and work hard to tell our story to lawmakers who might not understand that many of those 25,000 “illegal” operators are simply families trying to make ends meet in one of the most expensive places on earth.

  • November 24, 2022 1:10 PM | Anonymous

    On November 21, 2022 County Counselors Heather Kimball and Ashley Kierkiewicz presented a fully formed policy that, if adopted, would radically harm more than 7,500 families here on the Big Island.

    Among the most potentially harmful consequences of the bill as written:

    • Cuts off an important path that many kama'aina have used to become home owners.

    • Completely bans people from renting ohanas for less than 180 days.
    • Provides no path for farmers to participate in the visitor economy.
    • Creates insurmountable hurdles for kama'aina who rent a single room.
    • Contains egregiously large fines ( $10,000 per day )
    • Attempts to fix long standing problems with the permitting department at the expense of homeowners.
    • Eliminates jobs for service providers like cleaners, maintenance people, farm hands and managers.

    The underlying cause of these problems is a processes that is fundamentally broken and unfair.  Counselors Kimball and Kierkiewicz have drafted this bill without input from homeowners, service providers, farmers or others.
    First off, rewind.  A bill affecting the livelihood of 7,500 families needs more public input, socialization and collaboration than a bill authorizing a change in parking regulations.  Tens of thousands of people are going to be financially affected by this bill.  Let's start from scratch and get it right.

    To fix the bill the counselors need to rewind and listen:

    Rewind:  A bill affecting the livelihood of 7,500 families needs more public input, socialization and collaboration than a bill authorizing a change in parking regulations.  Tens of thousands of people are going to be financially affected by this bill.  Let's start from scratch and get it right.

    Listen: to the people who are going to be affected by this bill before drafting it.  And then draft it collaboratively.  People who host transient accommodations are experts in the economics, practicalities and impact of vacation rentals.  The County is not.  The County wouldn’t seek to regulate the automotive industry without consulting automakers.  If the county is looking to regulate hosted transient accommodation rentals it makes sense to talk to the people who earn their mortgage each month by running them.

    Folks who want to see how this regulation was presented can find the information here: https://youtu.be/V2Yf3LoWmY4

    The regulations themselves can be found here. https://tinyurl.com/TARVNdraft1122




  • June 05, 2022 9:45 AM | Holly Cunningham (Administrator)

    Aloha Members (and hopefully soon to be members!)  It is renewal time again, and although the 'team' hasn't been very active with emails or news and announcements, it certainly doesn't change the fact that we have our entity 'intact' and ready to defend or speak up for STVR rights here on the island!  We, as most everyone in this business, have had some very busy years (can you believe it is June 2022 already!??) and so have not been super active with communications from BIVRA.  We most certainly still exist, and again, would be ready in an event that required our representation.  To have that 'luxury' on hand, it does take membership and funding and we are hoping that everyone is still willing to invest a very small amount annually to have immediate representation if needed going forward.

    Mahalo for all of your support in the past, and in the future!

    BIVRA BOD and Association

  • December 11, 2021 1:35 PM | Holly Cunningham (Administrator)

    Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT)


    ANNOUNCEMENT NO. 2021-01
    December 9, 2021

    Hawai'i County Transient Accommodations Tax (HCTAT)
    Effective January 1, 2022

    The purpose of this Announcement is to notify the public of the HCTAT
     and to provide information for taxpayers subject to the HCTAT.

    Background
    Act 1, 1st Special Session 2021 (House Bill 862, H.D. 2, S.D. 2, C.D. 1), which became law on July 8, 2021, authorizes the counties to establish and administer their own transient accommodations tax (TAT) at a maximum rate of 3 percent.
      In order to establish the TAT, the County must first adopt a local ordinance.  The Director of Finance in each County that establishes a County TAT is granted the same authority that the State Director of Taxation has under chapter 237D, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS).

    The Hawai'i County Council introduced a bill to amend Chapter 2, Hawai'i County Code (HCC), which implements the HCTAT.  The first Finance Committee meeting to discuss Bill 81 (HCTAT) was held on October 19, 2021, and postponed to a subsequent meeting.  On November 3, 2021, the Finance Committee amended Bill 81 to Draft 2 and recommended its passage on first reading by the Hawai'i County Council.  Bill 81, Draft 2 passed first reading on November 18, 2021.  On December 8, 2021, Bill 81, Draft 2, passed second and final reading, without further amendments.  On December 10, 2021, Ordinance No. 21-89, Bill No. 81 (2021), Draft 2, was signed into law by Mayor Mitchell D. Roth.

    Imposition of HCTAT
    Beginning January 1, 2022, the HCTAT is levied at a rate of 3 percent on every taxpayer that has taxable gross rental proceeds and/or total fair market rental value  attributable to the County of Hawai'i. The HCTAT is imposed in addition to the State TAT, which is currently levied at a rate of 10.25 percent. These amounts can be found on Forms TA-1 and TA-2 which must be filed with the State of Hawaii Department of Taxation (DOTAX).  CLICK HERE for a sample Form TA-1, the periodic return for taxable gross rental proceeds and total fair market rental value of timeshares. 

    Registration
    Chapter 2.x-x, HCC, provides that all operators, timeshare plan managers, transient accommodations brokers, travel agents, and tour packages subject to the HCTAT must have a State TAT license issued pursuant to sections 237D-4 or 237D-4.5, HRS.  Taxpayers who are registered with the State and have a valid State TAT number, will be deemed registered for HCTAT.  Taxpayers subject to the HCTAT do not need to register separately with the County of Hawai'i.

    Tax Returns
    Under Section 2-x.x and 2-x.x, HCC, the County Director of Finance has the authority to prescribe how periodic and annual County TAT returns are filed. The County Director of Finance has determined that State TAT returns filed with DOTAX will also be deemed to have been filed with the County of Hawai'i. Therefore, taxpayers who are subject to the HCTAT will only need to file Forms TA-1 and TA-2 with DOTAX, as they are currently required.   Taxpayers subject to the HCTAT will not need to file separate HCTAT return with the County of Hawai'i.

    Payment Due Dates
    HCTAT payments are due concurrent with the State TAT returns and payments.  Thus, payments are due on or before the 20th day of the calendar month following the close of the filing period. For periodic returns, taxpayers are required to file Form TA-1 on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis.

    • For monthly filers, the first HCTAT payment is due on or before February 22, 2022.
    • For quarterly filers, the first HCTAT payment is due on or before April 20, 2022.
    • For semi-annual filers, the first HCTAT payment is due on or before July 20, 2022. 


    The annual reconciliation of the State TAT return (Form TA-2) is due on or before the 20th day of the fourth calendar month following the close of the taxable year.  As a general rule, a HCTAT payment will only be due if taxable gross rental proceeds or fair market rental value attributable to County of Hawai'i is reported on Form TA-2 and not reported on Form TA-1 during the taxable year.  If an HCTAT payment is due, filing of Form TA-2 and payment must be made by the deadline.  For calendar year taxpayers, the deadline is April 20, 2023.

    How to Calculate and Make HCTAT Payments
    To calculate the HCTAT payment, multiply the sum of the taxable gross rental proceeds and fair market rental value less any applicable exemptions attributable to County of Hawai'i by 3 percent. For a monthly filer, the first HCTAT payment, as reported on the taxpayer's Form TA-1 for January is due on or before February 22, 2022.

    Payment Methods The County of Hawai'i will accept HCTAT payments in the following methods:

    By Mail:

    Mail payment with the payment voucher form to:
    County of Hawai'i 
    Hawai'i County TAT Office
    25 Aupuni Street, Suite 1101
    Hilo, HI 96720

    Note:  Please do not send cash. All checks should be made payable to the “Director of Finance” in U.S. dollars drawn on any U.S. bank. Attach your check to the payment voucher.  The following information should be written on your check so payment will be properly credited if the check is separated from the payment voucher form:

    • HCTAT
    • The filing period
    • Your State TAT ID number
    • Your daytime phone number
    • Click Here to download a payment voucher form (Form HCTAT-1)

    Online:

    Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments are accepted via the County’s online payment portal at www.hawaiicounty.gov.  No fees will be assessed for ACH payments. However, ACH payments require bank verification, which can take up to 4 days.  If your payment needs to completed sooner, please remit your payment using other payment method.

    Taxpayers whose liability for the TAT exceeds $100,000 per year are required to pay tax by EFT.  ACH payment that will be made via the County’s online payment portal will satisfy this requirement.

    Bulk Filers:

    HCTAT payments for multiple State TAT ID numbers may be remitted via County’s online payment portal rather than having to submit ACH payments online for each individual State TAT ID number.  A one-time Bulk Filers Program Registration Form must be completed and submitted to HCTAT Office.  Participants must be registered to access the online payment portal. Additionally, detailed payment information, in an Excel file format (HCTAT’s Bulk Filers Simple File) must be submitted via email at HawaiiCountyTATBulkFilers@hawaiicounty.gov as soon as a payment has been made online. To register to this program and for eligibility requirements, please refer to the HCTAT Bulk Filers Instructions Manual. 

    IMPORTANT: Commercial Bank Account Holders with an account covered by ACH Debit Block Service must provide their financial institution with the County’s ACH Debit ID No. 00000000000.

    For more information contact the HCTAT Office.  DOTAX will not be able to answer any questions regarding the HCTAT.

    -----------

    1 Hawai'i County Code §2.
    2 State of Hawaii, Department of Taxation - Form TA-1/TA-2, Line 3, Column C.
    3 State of Hawaii, Department of Taxation - Form TA-1/TA-2, Line 7.
    4 Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §237D-2.
    5 HRS §§ 237D-6, 7.
    6 Hawai'i County Transient Accommodations Tax is levied beginning on January 1, 2022.
    7 Payment voucher form will be posted in the County’s website and mailed out to taxpayers who filed previously with DOTAX when it becomes available.

     

     

    CONTACT US 

    Hawai'i County TAT Office

    Email:

    HawaiiCountyTAT@hawaiicounty.gov

    Mailing Address:

    Hawai'i County TAT Office
    25 Aupuni Street, Suite 1101
    Hilo, HI 96720

    Phone: (808) 961-8793   

    FAQs

    • What is the County Transient Accommodations Tax?

    • Who has to pay the HCTAT?

    • When is this effective?

    • When are payments due?

    • Can I just make one payment for both the State and County portions?

    • Do I have to file a separate return with the County of Hawai'i?

    • If I don't have to file a separate return, how will you know how to apply my payment

    • What happens if I don't pay?

    • Can I pass the County Transient Accommodations Tax on to the visitor?

    • How do I pay my County Transient Accommodations Tax?

    • What about bookings made in advance before the effective date?

    More FAQs

    HCTAT Bulk Filers Program


  • June 25, 2021 9:20 AM | Holly Cunningham (Administrator)

    Hawaii to Waive Testing Requirements for Fully Vaccinated U.S. Travelers Starting Next Month

    Starting July 8, all travelers were vaccinated in the United States will be allowed to upload their vaccination card to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program in lieu of the previously-required COVID-19 PCR test.

    By Alison Fox

    June 25, 2021

    Save Pin FB

    Hawaii

    Credit: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

    Hawaii will allow fully vaccinated domestic travelers to skip pre-arrival testing and quarantine requirements, the state's governor said Thursday.

    Starting July 8, all travelers were vaccinated in the United States will be allowed to upload their vaccination card to Hawaii's Safe Travels Program in lieu of the previously-required COVID-19 PCR test, Gov. David Ige's office announced.

    By that date, Ige said he expects Hawaii will have reached a 60% statewide vaccination rate. Currently, 62% of all residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 57% are fully vaccinated, according to Hawaii's Department of Health.

    "Our residents have sacrificed and worked hard to get to this point, but we still have more to do," Ige said in a statement. "Please get vaccinated to protect yourselves and your loved ones. We are close to achieving a 70% vaccination rate, at which point all restrictions will end and we can return to the lives we remember."


    ×Unvaccinated visitors will still be required to get tested before traveling at a "trusted partner" site in order to skip quarantine.

    The new protocols come weeks after Hawaii lifted all restrictions on inter-county travel and started allowing fully vaccinated residents who received their COVID-19 shots in Hawaii to travel back to the state without the need to get a pre-travel test or quarantine. In May, the state also lifted its outdoor mask mandate, in line with the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Ige said the state will lift all travel restrictions when it hits a 70% overall vaccination rate.

    Beyond travel protocols, Ige said he will allow restaurants to increase capacity to 75% on July 8.

    Hawaii's vaccination rate is higher than the country overall where 53.7% of people have received at least a first dose and 45.6% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.


  • June 07, 2021 12:41 PM | Holly Cunningham (Administrator)

    Aloha!


    Please click on following link for some great travel news to come!!

    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/hawaii-sets-plan-lift-travel-143500400.html


  • June 03, 2021 8:22 AM | Holly Cunningham (Administrator)

    Vacation Rentals Continue To See High Demand, But Regulations Create Uncertain Future

    Hawaii Public Radio | By Casey Harlow

    Published June 1, 2021 at 8:38 AM HST


    vacation_rental_beach_house_patio.jpg

    Vacation rentals again outperformed hotels in occupancy rate for the month of April. That's according to a recent report from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority that tracked the monthly performance of vacation rental units in the state. But as leisure travel continues to pick up, the demand for rentals hasn't slowed down.

    Business is booming for vacation rental operators like Cindy Wild, a real estate agent and vacation rental host on Hawaiʻi Island.

    "For this entire year, I have one week left in the calendar to book," Wild said. "And we're booked all the way to the end of March 2022."

    Like everything else in 2020, business stopped for vacation rental operators. But hosts slowly started seeing business pick up last October. In its latest report for April, rentals had a 66% occupancy rate, compared to the 51% hotels saw.

    Wild says there were signs of increased demand for rentals on Hawaiʻi Island start to pick up in October.

    Since then, it has exploded.

    "Part of it is the hotels have not completely opened to full occupancy. So they don't have as many rooms," she said. "But looking at what's going on right now at the hotels, especially on this island, they're really, really expensive. My place can get rented out between $185 to $199 a night. And Hapuna is $1100!"

    During the month of April, the statewide average daily rate for a rental unit was $238. In comparison, the average daily rate for hotels was $300.

    The economic impact of vacation rentals

    2020 HTA study highlighted the impact of the home rental market in the state. It estimated that in 2018, visitors staying at vacation rentals spent roughly $3.3 billion. That includes the accommodation price, food and beverage, transportation and retail spending. Researchers also estimated 46,000 jobs were supported annually by home or vacation rental guests at that time.

    The report also states "direct, indirect and induced state government tax revenue generated totals an estimated $347.4 million as of 2018."

    On the county level, rentals also contribute to local governments. Jen Russo, executive director of the Maui Vacation Rental Association, says 37% of the county's real property tax revenue comes from vacation rentals.

    "Vacation rentals are also the largest source of revenue for Maui's affordable housing fund," she said. "This fiscal year, vacation rentals will raise $5.6 million for the affordable housing fund. And for the last three years combined, they've raised $7.1 million. This is not including the TAT and GET taxes."

    Like hotels, vacation rentals also support a wide range of local businesses.

    "Just the same as the hotels, these people that are staying here are shopping at our grocery stores, are going to our restaurants, they're fueling our economy by spending money here," Wild said. "But we also employ a lot of different people. I have to replace things at my condo - putting in new AC, so laborers and contractors."

    On top of that, Wild says there are companies that manage vacation rentals on Hawaiʻi Island that employ and support businesses such as landscapers, cleaners, accountants and more.

    County regulations

    The popularity of rentals in the islands has brought some negative impacts. The use of housing inventory in residential neighborhoods changed the way residents perceive how tourism is managed. A 2019 HTA resident sentiment report surveyed 1,700 residents across the state. Among residents who said tourism brought more problems than benefits, on average they felt there was more traffic, visitors had little respect for the culture or tradition, and there was overcrowding.

    "Studies have been shown that over 30% of the people go to vacation rentals wouldn’t come to Hawaiʻi if they couldn’t go to a vacation rental," said Rick Egged, executive director of the Waikīkī Improvement Association. "So, to me, there’s your answer, you want to reduce the number of visitors – get rid of vacation rentals. And I think this is something we have to work on as a community."

    To address resident concerns, county councils and administrations have proposed and implemented regulations to address illegal vacation rentals. But those rules often impact legal operators.

    "Many people feel like the county wants their money, but they don't feel that they're getting the support as a small business owner," Russo said.

    On Hawaiʻi Island, Wild says she doesn't have an issue with her unit, because it's located on Aliʻi Drive - traditionally an area with high visitor traffic. The county currently allows legal rentals to continue to operate, but the no longer allows the addition of new units. (In residential zoned areas)

    For rentals in residential areas, operators had to go through a process to obtain a non-conforming use permit, which would have to be renewed every year.

    As a real estate agent, Wild says she knows there are issues surfacing for those renewing their permit with the county. She says one operator has been waiting since November 2020 to have their permit renewed.

    "Even though the homeowner has done everything that they were supposed to . . . but the county hasn't even processed it," she said. "You know we're halfway through the year, then it's going to be November again, it's going to time to renew again, and [the county] won't have even sent out the new placard for this year."

    Wild believes the county didn't establish an efficient system for the renewal process, and faces issues with staffing. And because of the county's new regulations, legal operators in the renewal process could possibly lose permit their permit for good.

    "Let's say that the homeowner didn't renew [their permit] within 30 days of their expiration date. They would have lost their non-conforming use permit, and they would never be able to get it back because they are not issuing new non-conforming use permits," Wild said.

    Legal vacation rentals face an uncertain future with current and future regulations. Hosts say they hope they can work with lawmakers and communities to strike a balance.

    But in the meantime, Wild, and other hosts like her, are cashing in on the pent-up demand from travelers.


  • October 23, 2020 4:11 PM | Holly Cunningham (Administrator)

    County Readjusting Post COVID Test Program

    By Tiffany DeMasters

    October 22, 2020, 6:48 AM HST (Updated October 22, 2020, 11:34 AM)
    • T

    Mayor Harry Kim. PC: Team Ige

    Hawai‘i County is currently looking at offering its post-arrival COVID-19 rapid antigen test to trans-Pacific travelers four days after arrival on the island instead of the day they fly in.

    The post-test, currently required of all travelers before they leave the airport, has yielded one positive and nine false positives out of approximately 3,600 people who have landed on the Big Island since the state launched its pre-travel coronavirus testing program on Oct. 16.

    The state’s program requires individuals to provide a negative COVID test 72 hours before coming to the islands if they wish to avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Mayor Harry Kim said the vast majority of people coming from the mainland were getting their test within 24 hours before arriving on the Big Island, noting it wasn’t a productive use of resources.

    “No one disagrees that more than one test is good,” the mayor stated. “What we’re doing now is looking at how we can continue the second test on Hawai‘i island and how we can go with the two-test system to make it more meaningful.”

    The county has been working with Premier Medical Group (PMG) to provide this post-test, requires travelers to submit to a PCR test if the antigen test comes back positive. Moving forward, Kim said, he hopes to set up three testing sites, Kona, Hilo and the Kohala Coast, where people can go to test on their fourth day after arriving on the island.

    The Mauna Lani Luxury Resort has already agreed to set up a coronavirus operations center, which would allow for testing and provide information on the disease. Dr. Kaohimanu Akiona with PMG is currently tasked with finding locations in Kona and Hilo.

    Kim thinks it would be nice to have a database of 8,000 to 10,000 already in the system before setting up these test sites, which he thinks they’ll have by the weekend. The mayor added that he hopes to get the sites in place by early next week.

    Until then, post-travel testing will continue at the airports. Even if the test is successfully moved to another site, Akiona said, PMG staff will still be at the airport to capture and register all the arrivals, noting that while they can’t require quarantine, they can still collect information, i.e. names, how they can be contacted, etc.

    Akiona is aware of the possibility that these trans-Pacific travelers won’t come for a post-test. However, she still thinks it’s a good idea.

    Akiona thinks that there are ways to make the four-day post-test work if there is an incentive or they have to quarantine to get the test.

     

     

     

     






  • October 13, 2020 7:23 PM | Holly Cunningham (Administrator)

    Governor David Ige

     

    Today I signed a 14th supplementary emergency proclamation that extends the COVID-19 emergency period through Nov. 30 (https://bit.ly/2SPvCKH)

    The emergency proclamation leaves in place the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers. However, beginning Oct. 15, a pre-travel testing option will allow travelers an alternative to the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

    I want to remind all travelers that following safe practices – at home, while traveling and upon returning – is the only way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wear a face mask, wash your hands frequently and watch your distance around other people, even if you’ve recently tested negative for COVID-19.

    Travelers, five years and older, who do not want to be subject to the state’s 14-day mandatory travelers quarantine must take an approved COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure from the final leg of travel. If results are not received prior to arrival, the traveler will be required to self-quarantine until a negative test result is reported to the state Dept. of Health.

    The state will accept test results from trusted testing and travel partners only. A complete list can be found at https://hawaiicovid19.com/travel-partners/

    Negative test results may be uploaded to the Safe Travels Digital Platform at https://travel.hawaii.gov/#/, and all travelers must also complete the state’s mandatory travel and health form on this digital platform.

    The proclamation allows counties to require a subsequent test after arrival into the state. Such a test would be paid for and administered by the county. People arriving in a county that requires a post-arrival test do not need to self-quarantine prior to obtaining the subsequent test. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or who anyone who tests positive at any point in their stay must take steps to isolate or quarantine as directed by the Dept. of Health.

    The inter-island quarantine for travelers arriving in the counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui and Kalawao (Kalaupapa) remains in place. However, the proclamation empowers the counties to adopt a negative test exception process for travelers subject to the inter-island travel quarantine.

    The proclamation also:

    • Extends the prohibition on evictions for non-payment of rent until Nov. 30.
    • Extends the expiration dates of expired/expiring state IDs and driver's licenses until Nov. 30.

    Four more trusted testing and travel partners:

    • Alaska Airlines
    • American Airlines
    • Bartell Drugs
    • Port of Oakland

    For more information on the State of Hawaiʻi’s pre-travel testing program, visit https://hawaiicovid19.com/.

    https://governor.hawaii.gov/.../office-of-the-governor.../

  • October 06, 2020 1:47 PM | Holly Cunningham (Administrator)

    West Hawaii Today article seems to clarify the previous article released by the Star Tribune.

    Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim has not made a ‘definitive decision’ to opt out of the Oct. 15 pre-travel testing program.

    “A definitive decision has not been made yet — it’s forthcoming this week,” Maurice Messina, Kim’s executive assistant and chief of staff, said Tuesday morning.

    Messina said opting out of the pre-travel testing option means that travelers to the Big Island would have to quarantine for 14 days.

    “The reason the Mayor opted out was because the science shows that one test has too much risk. We have been told that the one test would catch only 40% of the potential positives, even if Lt Gov Green claims 80%. Even at 80%, the number of positives being introduced to our community is high. A second test after arrival significantly reduces that risk,” Messina said.

    By opting out, Messina said the mayor is seeking more time to put into place the second test or even a third COVID-19 test for arriving passengers.

    “To do this by October 15 may be a challenge, hence the only choice at the moment may be to opt out. The opt out period would be only the time needed to stand up the 2nd test,” he said. “A team addressing the logistics for the second test is actively working to have this in place as soon as possible. “

    The final decision will be made in coordination with the state and other counties.

    “The Mayor is still weighing options, whether to hold to the opt out or find an acceptable risk option to opt in. A definitive decision is forthcoming this week based on the information from the team and coordination with the State and other counties,” Messina said.
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