Lihue Kauai Airport, Hawaii
There is good news and bad news for tourists about next summer in Hawaii.
The good news: The COVID-19 curve is flat, and its progress is significant enough to encourage the governor to introduce a four-phase plan to reopen the country.
The bad news: The plan is mostly to reopen Hawaii to locals, not visitors.
Here are the latest updates from Hawaii:
Beaches, Parks and Open Public Spaces; Restaurants Coming Soon
The governor’s plan to reopen Hawaii has taken place in four phases. Civil Beat outlines the guts:
Hawaii is currently in phase 1, with retailers and shopping centers recently being allowed to reopen. The next phase scheduled for early June will include the reopening of a much broader economy serving Hawaiians.
Under phase 2 of the country’s reopening plan, “medium-risk” businesses – including salons and barbers, restaurants and fitness centers – will be allowed to once again operate. Also considered medium risk: Cinemas, houses of worship and museums. These places must all maintain social distance guidelines.
“High risk” businesses, such as bars and clubs, will remain closed until phase 3.
But … The Visitor Quarantine Is Extended To The End Of June
The 14-day visitor’s quarantine is extended to 30 June, which means that anyone who lands on the island during this time must be quarantined for two weeks before being given freedom to explore.
This also applies to inter-island flights, so even if you are quarantined on one island, you must be quarantined again if you land on another island. This clearly ruled out island tourism.
Anyone thinking of ignoring quarantine upon arrival should reconsider. Hawaii has taken its enforcement very seriously, tracking its visitors and arresting those who break the rules.
At present, visitors who land in Hawaii are required to sign a contract that approves quarantine and submits it to a medical examination. They agreed not to leave their hotel room for any reason other than medical treatment. They may not visit public spaces in any case.
Solutions for the Future
So, even though I’m sure the hotel will appreciate your money, it’s better not to visit Hawaii at this time. Clearly, tourism is a big part of the Hawaiian economy, and welcoming visitors back to the islands is part of a long-term plan.
But with the threat of a second wave this fall / winter, and the nature of remote islands that are very vulnerable, Hawaii needs time to find definitive ways to ensure the safety of its inhabitants in the long run – that is, that the virus does not carry.
The state has invested in heat filtering cameras and currently provides health tests for all passengers arriving at the airport. More creative and long-term solutions will be needed to get things back to normal.
One proposed new solution is to require all visitors to have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the state, or even to board a plane (similar to the way some countries require evidence of a yellow fever vaccine). The country’s leaders have confirmed with the White House that such conditions will be valid to apply.
This will obviously help tourism recover faster, but it depends not only on the availability of tests in local communities, but on the ability to use them in healthy people. At present, sick people need access to this test, not people who want to go on vacation.
“At the moment, like many of you, we are focused on the health and safety of our community, visiting industry employees, health care professionals, and our health care system,” said the American tourism website. “As a small isolated island community, our population is very vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis. Hawaii Governor David Ige has asked that you postpone your trip to Hawaii to give us the opportunity to overcome this health crisis. ”
We will continue to monitor the situation in Hawaii. Check back for new developments.
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