It should come as no surprise that Hawaii’s tourism industry was thrilled to announce the arrival of 200K visitors in the last month, starting on October 15th, 2020.
That was official Hawaii’s tourism reopening date with new travel guidelines that allowed vacationers to start visiting the islands again.
NOVEMBER 14 – the busiest day since reopening with 9415 passengers.
If ever the survival of a state was tied to its tourism, Hawaii would certainly have to be considered the frontrunning state.
Very few if any states have been hit as hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of what it has done to the state’s economy. If the recent explosion in new visitors is any indication, Hawaii’s tourism issues may soon be a thing of the past.
While most arriving flights have been filled just short of capacity, the number of visitors coming in is more than encouraging. It would seem to be just a matter of time before more travelers will be ready to put COVID-19 concerns aside and start traveling again.
As for the new guidelines, it’s fair to say Hawaii’s government is doing the right thing. They have set the standards high enough to ensure residents and visitors alike that the number one focus is keeping everyone safe while trying to reignite the economy.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the new guidelines:
All incoming travelers will be required to present valid negative COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) results.
The test results must be applicable to the 72 hour period just prior to arriving in one of Hawaii’s airports.
Failure to present negative NAAT results will force travelers to submit to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.
Any violation of the state’s quarantine rules could result in a fine of up to $5,000 and one year in jail.
While still operating under pre-pandemic international entry rules, visitors from all eligible countries with the exception of Brazil, China, Europe, and the UK are invited to visit Hawaii. The four exceptions will remain under President Donald Trump’s travel ban until further notice.
While some residents are concerned about reopening Hawaii for tourism, Lieutenant Governor Josh Green has made clear that right now, concerns over the economy outweigh any potential COVID-19 health concerns.
To appease the concerns of some mayors, Governor David Ige has made clear he would support secondary testing of travelers as long as the applicable counties cover the cost associated with the testing. Hawaii’s “big island” is already using a rapid testing system, which provides preliminary results in about 15 minutes.