Like most dreams of travel during the pandemic, a visit to Hawaii became untenable once the state began issuing strict self-quarantine orders for all arrivals in March. Since then, Hawaii has expanded its Safe Travels program to bring tourists back safely, and on October 15, the state began allowing visitors to bypass the 14-day quarantine if they could provide negative covid test results. -19. In addition to fears of new cases brought in by tourists, residents have had their own epidemics to deal with. The governor of Hawaii issued a stay-at-home order and travel restrictions for the island of Lanai on Tuesday after the state Department of Health reported 79 infections in the community. As the number of tourists to the state continues to increase, what do the people of Hawaii think about receiving visitors? We spoke to six to find out what they want mainland visitors to know before booking a trip. “My honest opinion: please don’t come yet.” While the pandemic has been economically devastating for many residents of Hawaii, some say the hiatus in tourism has been regenerative for the islands. “Our water has never been so clear. I notice a dramatic difference in our ocean, in all of our natural resources, ”says Lesley Cummings, co-owner of Aloha Missions, a Maui lifestyle brand that supports the local area through community service projects. “It’s like the island needs a break.” Cummings is not sure now is the right time for tourism to make a strong comeback. Postcards are displayed in a closed store in Honolulu. (Bloomberg News) “My honest opinion: please don’t come yet,” she said, adding that her opinion is based on the fact that she has not been seriously affected financially by the decline in tourism. “If you were to delay your trip until this pandemic sets in, I think our local community would welcome you more with that aloha spirit …. For the most part, I don’t think our community is there. If tourists nevertheless decide to visit, Cummings is asking visitors to show their respect to the local community by following local coronavirus guidelines and supporting local businesses as much as possible. [Where can Americans travel in the Caribbean?] “When we both wear masks, I malama you and you malama me.” If people feel inspired to take a trip to Hawaii, John De Fries, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, believes Hawaii is ready to welcome tourists again with safeguards in place, such as its pre-trip test program. “Each of the segments of the [travel] the industry – starting with the airport, ground transport, hotels – has been preparing for months. There are health and safety covid standards and protocols, ”says De Fries. “Some of these are defined by national or local professional associations in conjunction with the CDC and the Hawaii State Department of Health.” pointing to the Hawaiian word malama, which means to protect, nurture, or nurture. “In the islands, you hear it used to refer to natural resources. Malama the land, malama the ocean,” he says. “We are entering a long term recovery where we have to malama ourselves, malama our families, each other. Malama the visitor and in turn, teach the visitor how we malama as a place and as a people. Part of that, says De Fries, is just promoting the basics, such as wearing a mask in public places and practicing social distancing. “When we both wear masks, I malama you and you malama me,” he said. “I would rather do it open, hustled and bustling again.” Matty Kua, manager of The Pig and The Lady bar in downtown Honolulu, was initially happy to have Hawaii for locals only. “The locals were able to go back to Waikiki and enjoy it a bit,” he says. “But it got a little old. I would prefer it to be open, rushed and bustling again. [A local’s guide to Honolulu] Kua is thrilled that visitors are returning to Hawaii to revive the economy, as much of the state’s workforce has been negatively affected by the tourism shutdown. Chelsea Mathews is making drinks at Pig and the Lady in May 2019 (Marie Eriel S. Hobro for the Washington Post) But while Kua fears that keeping visitors away will lead to more small businesses shutting down permanently, he still fears that a rise in travel will lead to a major spike in coronavirus cases. Kua recommends that visitors stick to major destinations like Oahu instead of smaller, more remote options at this time. “We really want people to come back.” Peter Shaindlin, COO of hotel company Halekulani Corp., says the hiatus from tourism has been restorative for the island. “Saltwater, coral reefs, trails, nature reserves, on and on – natural environments have restored themselves for almost eight months of almost no tourist exposure,” Shaindlin says. “It has been a wonderful opportunity to come together and cool off in anticipation of the [tourist] return that begins now. Hawaii’s coronavirus prevention programs give Shaindlin confidence in the safe return of tourism. The properties of Halekulani Corp. remain closed, but the company continues to pay for employee health benefits until they reopen. Shaindlin says the only way to maintain tourism is to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local guidelines, such as wearing a mask at all times in public. “When [Hawaii locals] see visitors unmasked, they don’t feel safe and they also feel it’s disrespectful, ”he says. “Remember, these are the people who are going to serve you while you are here.” [How much does a hotel’s ventilation system matter right now? We asked the experts.] “I don’t think there is a single answer.” Martha Cheng, writer and editor in chief of Honolulu Magazine, enjoyed Hawaii’s tranquility during the pandemic without tourists. Cheng, who lives on the edge of Waikiki, says it’s cool to see locals come back to parts of Hawaii that were once too crowded. “It almost feels like rediscovering our island, and parts of it where we didn’t go because there were too many tourists,” she says. will keep coming back even when tourists have returned, or will they feel crowded again? I do not know. Cheng, who also wrote By The Way’s City Guide to Honolulu, says the reopening is contentious. For many locals, the island’s closure has been pleasant, but “on the flip side, there are also large swathes of the population where it has been devastating,” she said. ” I don’t think there is an answer. I just wish we had taken the time to really start developing what else we can do for the economy other than tourism? Cheng asks those who visit Hawaii during the pandemic to take coronavirus precautions seriously. “If you think [covid-19] is not a problem and you are unwilling to abide by some of the regulations and rules that we have here to try to prevent it from spreading, so I would definitely say don’t come, ”she said. For me, the pre-tests make sense and they feel safe. Hawaii has been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic compared to many states, says Honolulu Chief Kevin Ching. “We are so dependent on tourism,” he says. “It’s been this weird choice by Sophie the whole time. … It was really hard to know when was the right time to [reopen]Ching said locals are bracing for the impact of reopening to tourists. However, Ching welcomes the return of tourism for economic reasons, provided that visitors follow local protocols, even if there is no no guarantee they will be foolproof Waikiki beach near empty on October 15 (Marco Garcia / AP) “Every action we take is an experience. This has never been done before. There is no data, “he says.” But to me the pre-test makes sense, and it feels safe. Ching says a good thing about Hawaii is that some of its best qualities are free and off. [tourists are] hiking, going to the beach, and outdoor picnics and things like that, to me, that seems like the most responsible way to enjoy Hawaii right now, ”he says. Read more: 7-hour flight has been linked to 59 cases of coronavirus in Ireland, researchers say these 8 countries accept US travelers for remote work trips How important is a ventilation system hotel right now? We asked the experts. .
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