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Hawaii Postpones Tourism Reopening Date To At Least October
Hawaii will remain closed to tourists until October at the earliest as the number of COVID cases increases nationwide.
That means the state’s planned Sept. 1 reopening that would allow out-of-state visitors to bypass Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine restriction provided travelers present a negative COVID-19 test is also delayed.
“We will continue to monitor the conditions here in Hawaii as well as key markets on the mainland to determine the appropriate start date for the pre-travel (COVID-19) testing program,” Gov. David Ige said.
This is the state’s second delay since announcing the testing loophole that would’ve granted tourists access to the islands.
Back in March, Hawaii implemented some of the toughest quarantine measures that required arriving passengers to quarantine for 14 days.
Upon arrival, passengers are required to complete documentation stating where they’ll be staying, their phone number, and acknowledging that violating quarantine is a criminal offense which can result in a $5,000 fine and up to one year in prison.
Hawaii has seen a surge in cases since early July. The total number of cases has surpassed 6,900 and at least 48 deaths.
As a result, state leaders have reinstated a ban on social gatherings, inside and outside, and other restrictions on Oahu, home to Honolulu and the current hotspot of most of the state’s coronavirus cases.
“We cannot deny that Hawaii is seeing a surge in the positive COVID-19 cases that we’re seeing,” said Ige. “There are numerous clusters and wide community spread […]. With the case count increasing the way it has, it would be very difficult to implement and start the pre-travel (COVID-19) testing program on Sept. 1.”