Hawaii to Delay Tourist Return Due to Increase in Cases

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As there are more cases of coronavirus increasing in Hawaii. The officials are planning to delay the start of the much-awaited program. In which the visitors coming from other states can vacation there without quarantining for 14 days. If they provide negative COVID-19 test results, said the governor David Ige.

This program was announced in June and was set to start from September 1. However, the officials delayed it once a month ago due to increasing cases in Hawaii.

“If things do not get better we will have no choice but to look at more restrictions,” Ige said. “That means we will be looking at a delay of the transpacific pre-travel (COVID-19) testing program.”

“I know that going backward will cause further harm to our economy,  but we have always said the health and safety of our community will be the highest priority,” the governor said.

Ige said they have not made any decision, but he passed his strongest comments to date about the likelihood of a pushback.

Concerns of Increasing Cases

“With the case count increasing the way it has, it would be very difficult to implement and start the pre-travel (COVID-19) testing program on September 1,” he said. 

He said officials want to see another “few days of data” to check the impact of restrictions announced last week, including the closing of beaches and parks in Honolulu.

However, the news of delaying tourism came as there was a surge in COVID-19 cases in Hawaii. According to reports on Thursday, the state showed 355 cases, a new daily record. To put that in perspective, when the state delayed the visitor COVID testing option the first time, Hawaii’s single-day record was 42 cases.

There were two more deaths reported in the state from COVID-19 on Thursday. Two Oahu residents, bringing the state’s death toll to 40.

However, there were not many cases in Hawaii in the early months of the pandemic like many other states. It only had a total of 900 cases from February through June. It started seeing cases increase in early July as people gathered for the long holiday weekend.

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