Pre-Travel Testing Flowchart from Hawai’i Tourism Authority

Pictured is a flowchart explaining the pre-travel testing program to be implemented October 15th when Hawai’i reopens its borders for the first time since its lockdown in March. This reopening comes with the ongoing pressure from the tourism industry, a major part of the state’s economy, to reintroduce recreational travel. Allowing increased travel from the mainland United States and the rest of the world has faced opposition from those worried about the limited medical capacity of the islands and the probability of visitors spreading coronavirus through tight-knit local communities. This debate builds off the tensions between the Indigenous Hawaiians who have been historically dispossessed of land and resources by the tourism industry since the illegal annexation of the islands in the late 19th century and a settler-colonial state government. The reopening system charted here requires visitors acquiesce to a high degree of surveillance by the state government. All test results must be shared with local authorities and any quarantine must occur in a hotel room. While this system certainly seems to reduce potential contact between infected visitors and the island population, the infrastructure of implementation maintains risk—consider the step “minimize interactions/monitor” which follows path 1 and 2. Likely intentioned to reduce transmission in case of false negatives or falsified test results, these pathways still require individual responsibility to account for some degree of protection. The power dynamics between tourists and local communities, as it is exacerbated by COVID-19, is simplified into the iconic shaka and the phrase “no restrictions.”