Gov. David Ige announced this afternoon that after meeting with the four county mayors and officials from the Department of Health (DOH) he has decided to delay the start of Hawai‘i’s pre-travel testing program from August 1st to September 1st. All travelers entering Hawai‘i will be subject to the mandatory 14-day quarantine until September 1st. Taking a COVID-19 test will not allow anyone who is traveling from out-of-state to bypass the quarantine.
In response to today’s announcement, Chris Tatum, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) said, “We want to welcome back our visitors once our state is ready to do so in a safe manner that will hopefully avoid the need to backtrack in the future. Once we receive details on the process and requirements from the Department of Transportation and the DOH, we will share that information with the visitor industry.”
The governor said during a news briefing this afternoon: “We have always said that we will make decisions based on the health and safety of our community as the highest priority. This decision came through much much discussion and we have assessed the situation that we see before us and over the past few weeks. I’ve already mentioned that we’ve set a new record in the number of cases – 42. And just a reminder a few days before that we had set the previous record of 41 cases.”
Gov. Ige added: “On the U.S. mainland we continue to see uncontrolled outbreaks and surges. This includes the highest number of daily cases in California, Texas, Arizona and Florida, and increasing cases in Nevada. As we speak right now, the outbreaks on the mainland are not in control and we don’t believe that that situation would change significantly by August 1st as we had hoped.”
To watch Gov. Ige’s press conference, visit HTA’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HawaiiHTA/