Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Ige to Extend Out-of-State Travel Quarantine Through August

July 13, 2020, 12:26 PM HST
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Travelers to Hawai‘i will face a 14-day quarantine, without exceptions, until at least the end of August.

Gov. David Ige announced Monday that he will delay his plan to allow trans-Pacific travelers to earn an exemption from the quarantine period by producing a certified negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel. It had been set to go into effect on Aug. 1.

Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim went on record last week saying he could not support the governor’s plan on its then-current timeline. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also questioned if Hawai‘i could keep a lid on COVID-19 with the return of mass tourism.

Pre-pandemic, the state averaged roughly 30,000 daily arrivals. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority has not registered a daily total of 3,000 since before Ige enacted the initial travel quarantine in late March.

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Cases have spiked across the islands since the interisland travel quarantine was rolled back in mid-June and nearly all businesses, including bars and gyms where the virus spreads more effectively, have been given the nod to reopen. A total of 23 cases were reported Monday, along with three new coronavirus-related deaths.

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Mainland cases have been off the charts in recent weeks, as the vast majority of states have seen rising totals in July. Some states, like Florida where more than 15,000 cases were reported in a single day on Sunday, have seen record daily totals in July. The highest daily totals in the United States, some topping 60,000 cases nationwide, have also been recorded this month.

Ige’s decision will mean another month without tourism dollars flowing into a state where nearly a quarter-million residents have filed for unemployment benefits since March 1.

The governor announced a press conference for Monday afternoon when he will issue a new supplemental emergency proclamation to extend the quarantine officially.

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This story will be updated. 

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