There are more problems in paradise. There are more problems for Hawaii’s travel and tourism industry, and there are problems between the mayors and the Governor.
Only the Island of Oahu with Honolulu and Waikiki may reopen for tourism arrivals after October 15 as originally planned and ordered by Hawaii Governor Ige.
The Aloha State of Hawaii was planning to welcome visitors from the U.S. mainland without the requirement of a mandatory 14-day quarantine if a passenger provides a COVID-19 negative test done within 72 hours prior to arrival. Airlines had been getting ready to transport again visitors to Hawaii. United Airlines said such a test can be done hours prior to departure at San Francisco Airport for a $250.00 fee or prior by mail.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell had told eTurboNews on September 15 he prefers second testing after arrival but confirmed today that O‘ahu plans to participate in the State’s pre-travel testing program. Mayor Caldwell maintains a two test program would be preferable to the current option, but also understands the current restrictions on testing capacity.
Kauai Mayor Mayor Kawakami made this statement:
“We have not yet made a determination. Decisions must be deliberate and we can’t commit to plans we don’t fully understand. Our goal from the beginning has been to supplement the Governor and Lt. Governor’s statewide travel plan. The option to opt-out is a recent development. As we understand it, our proposal was denied in part because the state aimed for consistency across the board, so visitors would not be confused. How does the option to opt-out achieve that goal? If each county were to opt-out, where does that leave the statewide travel plan? We need more details on what an “opt-out” means for the counties, and whether that provides the option for us to implement a single-test post-arrival program.
“If we were to remain in the program, the Lt. Governor has committed to implementing enhanced testing, such as a surveillance testing program, and we look forward to hearing details on how that will be implemented on October 15.
“Our goal is not to extend a mandatory 14-day quarantine in perpetuity. Our goal is to keep our community safe while we take a phased, responsible approach to reopening. We believed we could do that by offering an enhanced second-test program.”
Hawaii Island Mayor Harry Kim said yesterday, he was opting out for the state’s pre-travel program starting October 15. It means anyone visiting Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island of Hawaii will be required to quarantine for 14 days regardless.
eTurboNews reached out to Maui’s mayor Mike Victorino. A spokesperson for Mayor Mike Victorino said the mayor had not made a decision yet. Maui County also includes the Island of Molokai and Lanai.
In summary, as of now only the Island of Oahu with Waikiki Beach are a 100% reopening for visitors.