The COVID Tests That Will Get Us Traveling Again - Stab Mag

The COVID Tests That Will Get Us Traveling Again

Airlines piloting new programs to almost-open Hawaii

Words by Taylor Paul

Here’s the elephant in the airport departure lounge: currently, most “open” countries require a negative COVID test completed no more than 72 hours before your flight takes off. But it’s difficult to secure a test that returns results that quickly. 

So airlines are trying to kill the elephant. 

United Airlines recently announced a pilot program allowing passengers from San Francisco to Hawaii to take a 15-minute PCR test at the airport, or opt for an at-home test that can be mailed in. If successful, they’ll expand the service to other destinations. 

Hawaiian Airlines is offering something similar for passengers out of San Francisco and Los Angeles, where you’ll have access to drive-through testing near the airports that’ll run you “$90 for results within 36 hours, or $150 for day-of-travel express service.” PatGPipeWSLStab

These announcements coincide with that of the Hawaiian government, which after nearly six months of juggling 14-day quarantines, beach closures, stay-at-home orders and several reopening false starts, announced plans to reopen to domestic and international travelers on October 15. The requirement for entry, of course, is a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before departure.

The timing is perfect for the surf industry’s annual North Shore ransacking, the unveiling of the WSL’s new seasonal format at Pipe, and any Rick Kane who just wants to escape the wave pool. 

But the broader implication of solving the testing issue is what’s really exciting. With widespread vaccine distribution unlikely until mid-2021, partnering with a reliable, quick turnaround testing facility is a logical bandage for the COVID gash that continues to bleed the travel industry dry. If United and Hawaiian’s pilot’s are successful, it’s likely that more airlines and governments will follow suit, giving us a safer and more seamless way to visit the places we want, and that want us. 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

What Did We Learn From The Olympics?

The biggest takeaways from a writer who watched every single heat.

Jul 28, 2021

Covert Jr. Editor Virtually Slips Through The Heavily Guarded Gates Of Olympic Surfing

Better watch now, this won't stay up for very long.

Jul 28, 2021

Neal Purchase Jnr Shapes The Feeling He’s Searching For

Great artists hide themselves in their work.

Jul 28, 2021

You Could Fit Your Neighbor’s Sprinter Van Inside Of These Puerto Escondido Tunnels

Mexican Pipeline continues to churn out the goods.

Jul 27, 2021

Where Are We At With Sustainable Surfboards?

Hello, elephant in the room! Let's hear from some industry innovators.

Jul 27, 2021

Italo Ferreira and Carissa Moore Are Surfing’s First-Ever Olympic Gold Medalists

Here's how they won.

Jul 27, 2021

Everything You Never Knew About Italo Ferreira

A window into the gold medalist's meteoric rise.

Jul 27, 2021

John Florence Listed As Questionable For The Remainder Of The CT Season

“I’ll most likely make the decision in the next two days or so.”

Jul 26, 2021

The Flamboyantly-Dressed Man Who Got Surfing Into The Olympics Details His Experience

ISA President Fernando Aguerre opens up to Stab the day before the gold medal match.

Jul 26, 2021

Steph Falls Off Her Horse, Andino Triumphs Over John, Gabs Potentially Spells End To Jules’ Career Outside Contest Area

Big-ish waves, sharp surfing and no shortage of drama on day 2 of the Olympic…

Jul 26, 2021

Do You Talk In The Lineup?

The Misc: Half-spoken rules

Jul 26, 2021

Shizunami’s Provocative Chlorine Ramp Continues To Tempt Us

The Volcom Japan team dips its toes in the world’s most desirable wave pool.

Jul 26, 2021

Is This The Best Air Ever Done By A Female Surfer?

Erin Brooks does the honors.

Jul 26, 2021

Mason Ho Does The Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge In Sandy Mexican Drainpipes

That's a bold move, Cotton.

Jul 25, 2021

ISA President Explains Why Olympic Organizers Wouldn’t Put The Event On Hold For Carlos Muñoz

Basically, it comes down to waves.

Jul 25, 2021

It’s Official: Italo Ferreira And Gabriel Medina Could Go Head-To-Head For Surfing’s First-Ever Olympic Gold Medal

And, with the new heat draw locked, a massive decision looms—change the schedule or not?

Jul 25, 2021

STOP THE OLYMPICS, #LetCarlosSurf Goes Bezerk On Opening Day Of Competition

Olympic surfing makes its debut at Tsurigasaki Beach, Chiba!

Jul 25, 2021

What A Tragic Waste, Or Those Were The Fucken Days?

Review: Biarritz Surf Gang is a wonderful film.

Jul 25, 2021