Ige Plans to Extend 14-Day Quarantine for Mainland, International Travelers

May 28, 2020, 3:30 PM HST (Updated May 28, 2020, 3:32 PM)
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Gov. David Ige plans to extend the 14-day quarantine for transpacific and international travelers beyond June 30 as the state continues its efforts to suppress the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Ige’s weekly Facebook Live this afternoon, the governor was joined by the state’s four mayors to answer the public’s questions regarding the reopening of Hawai‘i’s communities, which have been shut down for two months due to the potential threat of the coronavirus. One of the concerns raised was the 14-day quarantine for interisland travel.

“I assure you we’re very close on making a decision on when interisland travel can begin in the next few days,” Ige said.

The governor confirmed he planned to extend the 14-day quarantine statewide as transpacific and international remains a concern. The new date will be announced at a later time.

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It’s been nine weeks since the state ordered the 14-day quarantine for travelers. On May 27, 1,129 people arrived in Hawaii. During this same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including residents and visitors. No flights landed at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport.

Businesses in Hawai‘i County are allowed to reopen on June 1 with the proper safety protocols in place. Mayor Harry Kim addressed questions of the reopening of public swimming pools and beach camping.

Kim thinks beach camping can open up on June 1. However, there is no reopen date for the pools.

“Swimming pools are one of those areas that we’re looking at very carefully,” Kim said. “A swimming pool is nice to have, but not a priority.”

Kim said private gyms are allowed to open on June 1 with the proper protocols in place to promote social distancing. When asked about wearing masks at open-air markets, Kim said whether it’s indoors or outdoors, any place there are people gathering, one should wear a mask.

While things are going well in Hawai‘i, Kim added, the priority is still the health and safety of the public.

“We’d rather be a little slower in opening things up than opening too fast. We have to make sure it’s safe,” Kim said.

The county leaders were asked about the reopening of bars. Kaua‘i County Mayor Derek Kawakami said bars are tricky and have been categorized as high risk, adding all mayors and the governor are working diligently to find a solution that gets everybody back to work.

The issue with bars, Kawakami said, is alcohol can impair judgment, which can lead to behavior with consequences.

To close, Ige said, he was proud of the work he and the mayors have done together and the results the state has achieved to keep the community safe.

“This is a marathon,” the governor said. “We want to remind you to continue to keep physical social distancing if you’re sick stay at home. We will only be successful if each and every one of us takes personal responsibility.”

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat. Tiffany is an award-winning journalist, receiving recognition from the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists. Tiffany grew up on the Big Island and is passionate about telling the community’s stories.

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