Hawaii Mom Blog: My Experience with the Safe Travels Program Digital Platform

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November 24, 2020

My Experience with the Safe Travels Program Digital Platform

The State implemented a Safe Travels Program for those traveling to or between islands.  This helps screen passengers, prevent the spread of COVID-19, and tracks relevant data to keep our state and residents safe.

I registered an account for my trip to Hilo.  The digital platform is pretty straightforward.  You enter a trip (flight numbers would automatically pre-populate old departure / arrival times, so I just made sure to not select the pre-populated options) and within 24 hours of your departure, you complete a required questionnaire.  Once you complete the questionnaire, you get a QR code emailed to you (it is also found in your trip profile), which will need to be scanned, depending on where you travel to.  

Since I was traveling to Hilo and needed to be exempt from quarantine, I also had to upload negative test results.  

After hearing about issues that travelers had uploading the incorrect type of document, I made sure I uploaded a PDF of the results from the lab.  

If the results are accepted, a NEGATIVE status will automatically be noted in your profile.

However, my status said "Verification in process."  This meant my results had to be read manually, even possibly at the arrival airport.  

My status remained the same for hours, and I thought maybe I didn't upload the file correctly, so I updated another one.  

Same result.

I had no idea what the issue could be - I did have some guesses, so I ended up calling the help desk to ask some questions, and it turns out, the help desk could also do the manual review!  I was so relieved to hear it.

Turns out, my test results could not be scanned properly because of a missing space.  A missing space!

The help desk employee was so helpful and manually processed by results to display NEGATIVE (since I uploaded two of the same results, he still had to update both to NEGATIVE).  

He said I would have been able to get manually processed at the airport by showing hard copies or a digital PDF of my result, but I'm glad I had the issue resolved right away, as I just didn't want to be at the airport any longer than I had to be.

Next I'll be writing about the actual screening process.

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