Hawaii governor urges tourists to stay away for now
UPDATE: October 20, 2021
Ige says vaccinated travelers welcome beginning Nov. 1
A spike in COVID-19 cases in August prompted Hawaii Governor David Ige to ask tourists to stay away from the islands, but today Ige announced brighter days ahead, declaring that vaccinated residents and visitors are welcome to travel to Hawaii beginning November 1, 2021.
According to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser report, the news was relief to Hawaii’s struggling tourist industry.
Ige said lower case counts and the response of Hawaii’s health care system prompted the change.
“I think we are all encouraged by what we’ve seen over the last several weeks with the continuing trend of lower case counts,” Ige said in a news release, adding: “it is now safe for fully vaccinated residents and visitors to resume non-essential travel.”
With confirmed cases of COVID-19 surging throughout the islands, Hawaii Governor David Ige urged tourists to stay away until at least November.
“Now’s not a good time to visit Hawaii,” Ige told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii.
Ige noted Hawaii’s restaurants are operating at limited capacity and that rental cars are in short supply, adding “we see continuing case counts here.”
Statewide, indoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25 people, with the exception of the Big Island, which adopted stricter requirements countywide. Outdoor gatherings on the Big Island are limited to 10 individuals, same as indoor gatherings, and while the island’s park facilities, including beach parks, remain open, park pavilions are closed, pop-up canopies and tents are prohibited and groups are required to maintain 20 feet of distance.
Ige’s request was not specific to tourists, as he called for avoiding all non-essential travel to Hawaii.
“I’m asking all residents and visitors alike to restrict travel, curtail travel, to Hawaii to essential activities only,” he said.
The governor said he is hoping to avoid another statewide shutdown like the one he put in place in March of 2020.
“Another shutdown is really the last resort,” he said.
While Ige is discouraging travel, it remains an option, for now. If you do need to head to Hawaii, be sure to read up on the latest information and requirements and your options for bypassing the state’s mandatory quarantine, including uploading your vaccine card to the Safe Travels website.
For the latest information on coronavirus in Hawaii and travel restrictions, visit the state’s official COVID-19 website.
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