With Pacific travel reopening on October 15, Governor David Egg said Hawaii was ready to take tourists back to the islands. Travelers who have had the documented negative COVID-19 test, which was taken 72 hours before arrival, will be able to bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine.
“We think we won’t see a significant initial increase in the number of visitors coming here, but we hope that we can slowly revive our community by bringing back Pacific visitors to our islands,” Egg told Spotlight Hawaii in a morning live interview.
Travelers traveling directly to neighboring islands will be able to bypass the quarantine, but once these visitors leave the airport, they will have to quarantine if they choose to travel to other islands within the state.
“If you travel directly to Oahu and spend a day or so here, that won’t translate. You could come to Oahu and not be quarantined, but if you then travel on an inter-island trip, you will be quarantined again.”
The governor said he will meet with mayors today and get an update on joint plans between the islands later this week. As it stands now, travelers from Oahu must quarantine if they are visiting a neighboring island, but those traveling from neighboring islands to Oahu do not.
“I’ve been working with mayors to define what health metrics are so we can drop quarantines between islands. I know, and when I talk to residents, especially on the neighboring islands, they are still worried about the number of virus cases they see on Oahu.
The governor also spoke about the new call center to deal with unemployment claims, and the state’s Hawaii Restaurant Card program. Eligible residents will receive prepaid debit cards worth US $ 500 in the mail for use at Hawaiian restaurants. The program aims to help residents who have lost their jobs, while giving a boost to local restaurants.
Spotlight Hawaii, which highlights issues affecting Hawaii, airs 10:30 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Facebook page. Join Ryan Kalei Tsuji and Yunji de Nies this month to have a chat with the guests. Click here to see previous talks.