Air Arrivals Hit High Point Since Quarantine

June 2, 2020, 12:44 PM HST (Updated June 2, 2020, 12:44 PM)
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PC: Pixabay

More people arrived in Hawai‘i on Monday since late March, when Gov. David Ige first instituted mandatory travel quarantines for all those arriving in the state.

On Monday, a total of 1,538 people arrived in Hawai‘i by air. During this same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in the state daily, including residents and visitors.

The state’s mandatory 14-day, self-quarantine started on March 26, 2020, for all passengers arriving in Hawaii from out of state. The quarantine order was expanded on April 1 to include interisland travelers.

Hawaii arrivals by air. PC: HTA

The governor on Monday announced that the quarantine on interisland travel will be lifted beginning June 16. Those traveling to the state will still be required to quarantine for two weeks before being allowed to travel from island to island.

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Hawai‘i has already announced the extension of the mandatory travel quarantine for those arriving from out-of-state beyond June 30, its current expiration date. There is no timetable for when tourism might return en masse.

State officials have said a program that would allow incoming residents to be tested near the time of their departures to Hawai‘i — such as Lieutenant Governor Josh Green’s Travel With Aloha plan — is the most likely solution to the state’s dueling concerns of protecting residents against COVID-19 while restoring tourism to bolster the economy. Those who test negative for the virus could theoretically be allowed to circumvent the quarantine, assuming they showed no symptoms upon arrival and passed thermal screenings at island airports.

Hawai‘i can not stop travelers from coming to the islands, per the Federal Aviation Administration. Thus, the quarantine and its limitations are the state’s best tool to limit incoming travel until a better solution can be found. Special agents from the state Department of the Attorney General have arrested several people for violation of quarantine, most recently a college student returning to Hawai‘i after vacationing out-of-state.

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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