Hawaii restarting tourism in August
Hawaii plans to lift its strict quarantine rule for tourists, as long as they arrive with negative Covid-19 tests.
It marks the return of inbound tourism which takes effect from August 1.
The Aloha State has imposed a mandatory quarantine for all arrivals for the past three months.
“We are now ready to begin the process to return our economy in a safe and healthy way,” said Gov. David Ige.
Travelers must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within the past 72 hours.
If they cannot do so, they will be placed in quarantine.
It is similar to procedures for inbound arrivals in Alaska, but in Alaska there is the additional safeguard of being able to take a test upon arrival.
That won’t be practical in Hawaii due to the high volume of air traffic.
“The whole notion of testing upon arrival just doesn’t work for our state. It would take testing capacity away from our state. The volume of visitors we get in Hawaii is about 10 times the visitors arriving in Alaska,” Ige said.
Still, the announcement of a tourism restart is a boost to the economy which is highly reliant on tourism.
Thousands of travel industry workers have been laid off with many more furloughed.
The pre-travel test option will allow the industry to reboot but authorities expect that with a big increase in traveler numbers, Hawaii will likely see more Covid-19 cases.