Currently, visitors arriving in the Aloha State of Hawaii need to stay in their hotel rooms for 2 weeks. It means no visits to the pool, the restaurant, or the beach. This is checked by dozens of special agents by the Honolulu Police Department. Violators face a $5000.00 fine, arrest, and up to 1 year in jail.
This has brought tourism to Hawaii to a stillstand. Most hotels are closed, most restaurants are doing take out only or closed up. Waikiki appears to feel like a ghost town.
After several extensions this regulation was supposed to be softened with an advance testing program the State developed and announced to be in place in August and again in September.
The programs in place, the websites to facilitate this program are operational, but after a spike in COVID-19 infections Governor Ige told a panel arranged by the Honolulu Advertiser today, he will most likely extend the quarantine requirement for everyone beyond October 1.
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This is a devastating blow to the travel and tourism industry, specifically to the ten thousand of hotel workers and airlines struggling to stay in business. It will most likely mean more closures, higher unemployment, and an exodus of people to escape the State for better opportunities on the US mainland.
OPINION: On the other hand, Hawaii managed to stay resilient when it comes to COVID-19 and health care. Such a decision is not an easy one but must be applauded. Following through with such strict restrictions may put the State on the winning stream in a long way.
Today the State recorded 80 new COVID-19 cases, down from the 200 or 300 range two weeks ago. Currently, there is the third week of a Stay at Home order for the County of Honolulu. This order by Mayor Kirk Caldwell is in place for another 10 days.