Travelers were SO CLOSE to being able to fly to Hawaii without having to worry about quarantining for 2 weeks when they got there. But nope, the governor of the state just extended the state’s 14-day quarantine mandate through to the end of July.
The mandate had been through the end of June but Governor David Ige announced on June 10 that the required quarantine for visitors from outside the state would now be through July 31.
The inter-island quarantine, which is supposed to be lifted on June 16, will remain as such. Residents will be able to travel from island to island, provided their temperature is below 100.4 degrees.
In a June 10 news conference, the governor said that allowing Hawaiians to travel from island to island will give Hawaii the opportunity to streamline what it plans to do and get ready for the eventual return of tourists.
Said Governor Ige: “Inter-island gives us the opportunity to test our system and make sure we can keep our community safe.”
To date, Hawaii has had less than 700 documented cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and only 17 deaths from the virus. Ige’s concern is if a visitor arrives on the island and has COVID-19, (s)he will spread it to others and new cases will quickly overcome the state’s hospital system. Some of the smaller islands have very limited resources (i.e. Kauai has 72,000 residents and less than 10 ventilators on top of not enough ICU pumps, nurses, rooms or equipment to handle multiple critically ill people) and Ige doesn’t appear willing to put his residents at risk, even if it means their tourism economy may have to suffer longer.
The longer-term plan is for travelers to fill out a health form and get their temperatures taken. However, Ige also said that Hawaii is looking into how to require travelers to get tested before getting onto a plane that would bring them to the state because screening via temperature checks and those with symptoms would miss up to 2/3 of visitors who had coronavirus (I’m so glad he listened to me LOLOL!).
As I said less than a week ago, I know that many people, both Hawaiians and those who want to visit, would be delighted if Ige would allow tourism to start again ASAP. Unlike many places where the economy is apparently #1, Ige is willing to put his state’s citizens’ well being and possibly lives above money. I just can’t disagree with that philosophy.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary