Hawaii Mom Blog: More on the Hawai`i Safe Travels Program




December 7, 2020

More on the Hawai`i Safe Travels Program

I once again had more issues with the Safe Travels Program. I'm not sure if it's just a bad luck streak, but I feel for all of those who are traveling transpacific, because if I, a resident, have this many issues traveling to another island, I can only imagine how stressful it is for those coming from the mainland.

Thankfully, I found a Trusted Travel Partner that can turn around test results quickly.

However, the results are made available in a 3-page document.  You are only supposed to upload the 1st page.  I was able to convert it to a 1 page document, but I know many people who wouldn't know how to do that.

Another issue with the Safe Travels Program is that when I had to upload my results and select the partner, the company I went through (National Kidney Foundation) or the lab (Synergy) weren't options, so I just selected "State of Hawaii Travel Form."

Once again, my result did not get accepted "automatically."

Since someone at the help desk offered to manually clear me prior to arrival on the last trip, I tried calling the help desk once again for assistance.  Unfortunately, after 15 minutes, the system disconnects you and offers an option to leave a message for a return call.  After 2 hours of waiting (being disconnected after every 15 minutes), I decided to leave a message, but I tried my luck with calling again a couple more times.

I ended up getting through to someone, only to be told that I couldn't be cleared manually (even though I was cleared the last time), and that changes take place every day to procedures.  She also said that once I complete the travel questionnaire (which is completed within 24 hours of your flight), the results should be "accepted."  If it is still not, I simply need to show my negative results upon arrival.

Well, after completing the questionnaire, my results were still not cleared, and at that point I just gave up and had to put my faith in the system.  

I was relieved that I did indeed get cleared with no issues after a screener reviewed my printed results.

The process really shouldn't be this difficult.  There shouldn't be that many issues.  People had months to figure things out, plan for alternatives, and work out kinks.  Even after the implementation in mid-October, people still encounter issues (just read through online travel forums).

This really isn't an ideal time to be traveling anywhere, but if you must travel to Hawaii, read through the forums and the FAQs too lessen the stress. 

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