This country’s two largest airlines were quick to welcome Thursday’s announcement by Hawaii that Canadians visiting the jurisdiction will no longer have to automatically self-quarantine for two weeks upon arriving in the jurisdiction.
State authorities have decided that they will allow Canadians to enter without quarantining if they can demonstrate they have tested negative for coronavirus 72 hours before arriving in the destination, an alternative to the two-week quarantine that the aviation industry says has been hugely damaging to international travel.
Both Air Canada and WestJet are planning to restart their Hawaii service next month.
“Many Canadians love to visit Hawaii during the winter months to escape the cold weather so the timing for this works well,” Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in making the announcement.
Canadians arriving in Hawaii without test results will still have to quarantine.
“We applaud Gov. Ige’s announcement that Hawaii’s science-based, pre-travel testing initiative is now available for Canadians to be exempt from mandatory quarantine requirements on arrival in Hawaii, and we are very pleased Air Canada is a preferred airline in Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program. We have long advocated for safe and science-based strategies over blanket quarantines to enable a safe and secure resumption of air travel. Air Canada’s industry-leading Air Canada CleanCare+ suite of biosafety standards and preventative measures across its operations means customers can always book and travel Air Canada with confidence,” said Timothy Liu, managing director, sales planning at Air Canada.
Additional details about Hawaii’s pre-travel testing requirements for customers will be available shortly on aircanada.com.
Air Canada plans to restart service to Hawaii from Vancouver Dec. 17 with four weekly flights to Maui and three to Honolulu. Calgary flights to Maui begin Dec. 18 and will reach several a week.
The airline is advising customers to “check applicable websites, including those of their final destination and the Government of Canada website to review entry document or quarantine requirements, which may evolve and change without notice. Alberta residents may be eligible to participate in the joint Government of Canada and Government of Alberta pilot project to test arriving residents as part of reducing quarantine.”
WestJet has teamed up with the DynaLIFE laboratory to provide the needed testing for those wanting to visit Hawaii without quarantining.
“Safety remains our number one priority and we thank Gov. Ige … for providing this opportunity for Canadians to enjoy all that the islands have to offer while safely supporting the tourism industry,” said WestJet chief commercial officer Arved von zur Muehlen. “WestJet teams are working hard to rebuild confidence in air travel through important partnerships like this one.
“Our guests can have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy safe and enjoyable travel without the rigorous quarantine requirements.”
DynaLlFE testing is only available in Alberta at this time but is offered to all Canadians. The cost is $150 an adult. Negative test results must be shown before boarding the plane.
WestJet plans to restart Hawaii service from Vancouver Dec. 18 and Calgary Dec. 19. Maui and Honolulu are being offered.
WestJet’s announcement quickly drew praise from the government of Alberta, the Calgary Airports Authority and DynaLIFE, while Ige declared he’s “grateful” for WestJet’s moves.
The carrier added that it’s implemented “more than 20 additional health and safety measures during the travel journey” since the onset of coronavirus.
WestJet noted that further information can be found at westjet.com/covidtesting.