STAND. COM. REP. NO. 213
RE: H.B. No. 1286
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness and Labor & Tourism, to which was referred H.B. No. 1286 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO TRAVEL,"
beg leave to report as follows:
(1) Exempt any person from post-arrival mandatory self‑quarantine if the person receives a negative test result prior to arrival;
(2) Authorize the Department of Health to establish conditions for exemptions;
(3) Require certain COVID-19 tests for travelers who do not have a test result upon arrival; and
(4) Require any person who receives a positive test post‑arrival to be responsible for all costs associated with their mandatory self-quarantine.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Medical Service Association, Kohala Coast, Grande's Gems and Gallery, Hawaii Food Industry Association, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Rental By Owners Awareness Association, Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association, Airlines for America, Napili Kai Beach Resort, Four Seasons Report Maui at Wailea, Roberts Hawaii, Springboard Hospitality, Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival, Prince Waikiki, Mauna Kea Resort, Sheraton Kauai Resort, Waikiki Resort Hotel, TS Restaurants, Waikīkī Improvement Association, Courtyard by Marriot Oahu, Maui Seaside Hotel, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Ocean Club, Embassy Suites, and numerous individuals. Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Anaina Hou Community Park and numerous individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Health, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and three individuals.
Your Committees find that in an attempt to reduce the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, the State of Hawaii implemented the nation's first post-arrival mandatory self-quarantine. This drastically reduced the number of positive cases in the State, leading Hawaii to having one of the lowest positivity rates in the nation. However, as a result of the lockdown, Hawaii went from having the lowest unemployment rate in the country to one of the highest. While the lockdown succeeded in reducing COVID-19 cases in the State, the economic impact on the State is unprecedented.
Your Committees further find that in order to begin stimulating the economy, the Safe Travels Program was implemented to allow an individual who could provide a negative COVID-19 test from a trusted testing partner to bypass the mandatory self‑quarantine. Currently, under the direction of the Governor, each county is authorized to establish their own rules regarding the Safe Travels Program, or even opt out of the program completely. This has caused discrepancies in mandatory self‑quarantine rules between each county, creating confusion and difficulties for residents and visitors. Your Committees believe that a key step in bringing the State back to its pre-2020 economic status is establishing a uniform law regarding mandatory self-quarantine rules and requirements.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Based on the recommendation provided by the Department of Health, clarifying that the Incident Commander, instead of the Department of Health, will establish conditions when a person is automatically exempt from the mandatory self-quarantine;
(2) Specifying that any person who does not obtain a negative test result prior to arrival in the State will be responsible for all costs associated with that person's mandatory self-quarantine and isolation;
(3) Replacing the Department of Health with the State Safe Travels Program as the entity responsible for approving an acceptable COVID-19 test for purposes of the program;
(4) Inserting a purpose section;
(5) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(6) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness and Labor & Tourism that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1286, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1286, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness and Labor & Tourism,
RICHARD H.K. ONISHI, Chair
LINDA ICHIYAMA, Chair