Ige Says Interisland Quarantine to End ‘Soon’

May 26, 2020, 5:34 PM HST (Updated May 26, 2020, 5:34 PM)
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Gov. David Ige implied Tuesday that the end to the state’s interisland travel quarantine will soon be rolled back and that reopening Hawai‘i to tourism won’t be far behind.

After three consecutive days with zero new cases of COVID-19 reported statewide, the governor said in a press conference that he expected to rescind the interisland travel quarantine “very soon.” However, he declined to provide a specific date.

“We are finalizing plans to reopen tourism,” added Ige, but again did not provide a timeline. “We are ready to respond (to any surges).”

Hospital and testing capacity across the state is strong enough to begin those not under mandatory quarantine to move from one island to the next, Ige said. Though, reversals of policy will remain an open possibility.

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Unrestricted travel to Hawai‘i is another matter. More than 1,000 people arrived to the islands Monday, continuing a trend that’s persisted for more than a week of four-digit or near-four-digit arrivals. At this time last year, roughly 30,000 people were arriving to the state by airplane every single day.

AIRPORT ARRIVALS FOR MONDAY, MAY 26, 2020

 

KONA

MAUI

O‘AHU

LĪHUʻETOTAL
Crew

3

6

136

 

145

Transit

 

 

66

 

66

Military

 

 

43

 

43

Exempt

 

 

54

 

54

Relocate to Hawai‘i

 

8

72

 

80

Returning Resident

 

34

347

 

381

Visitor

 

40

219

 

259

GRAND TOTAL

3

88

937

0

1,028

Flights

1

1

12

0

14

The primary sticking point for reopening Hawai‘i’s borders to national and international travel is consistent and rapid testing of visitor arrivals that would allow for an exemption to the mandatory 14-day quarantine, which is in place through the end of June.

The governor has not committed to any timetable to reverse that quarantine.

Max Dible
Max Dible is the News Director for both Big Island Now and Kauai Now. He also serves as News Director for Pacific Media Group's Hawai‘i Island family of radio stations. He formerly worked as a community reporter for West Hawai‘i Today in Kailua-Kona from 2016 to 2019. Before that, he was a sports editor, sports reporter, and radio talk show personality covering college athletics in Iowa. He's won several regional and national journalism awards, at both the collegiate and professional levels, for breaking news, long-form feature writing, and his work as a sports columnist.

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