On Monday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige urged tourists to not visit his state as it suffers through a surge in COVID-19 cases thanks to the effects of the delta variant, adding that “it’s not a good time to travel to the islands.”
However, no new restrictions were mandated, and tourists would not be stopped from coming, but that may change aslockdowns and the adoption of vaccine passports are being considered.
Ige revealed this development during a Thursday interview with Hawaii News Now, saying that if “we push hospitals across that line,” the state may need to adopt “more extreme measures.” The signs are not positive as 1,035 confirmed new cases were recorded on Friday, the most of any single day. They were also 1.7% of the total confirmed cases that Hawaii has experienced since the pandemic’s start.
He added that shutting down businesses was also on the table as officials decide how to respond.
Mitch Roth, the mayor of Hawaii County, home to Hilo, announced on Friday that new rules were being put into place on his island, including limiting the sizes of groups to 10 people apiece and mandating that they must observe 20 feet of separation. Tents and park pavilions are not allowed either.
Also, the Ironman World Championship, which was scheduled to take place on Oct. 9 in Kailua-Kona, on the west side of the island of Hawaii, was postponed to Feb. 5 as a result of this surge.
As for vaccine passports, Ige said that he is hoping to have them operating in his state by Labor Day. However, how it is being handled has Hawaii’s businesses hesitant. Unlike in San Francisco and New York, where the local governments there are mandating its use by all affected businesses, Hawaii’s plan is to not make it obligatory for businesses, which puts those owners in a difficult dilemma as they decide what to do.
The bottom line is that those who have been considering making a trip to Hawaii should reconsider those plans, particularly considering that the state may enact a complete lockdown in the near future.