As of October 15th, Hawaii is issuing another implementation of quarantine wavers in hopes to reignite their tourism. When COVID struck the island state particularly hard in March, Governor David Ige issued a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone coming to the state or returning from another state. Hawaii, receiving a lot of its income from tourism, was hit particularly hard by COVID, and the last few months were a lot of trial and error for the island state.
After three weeks of quarantine, the government of Hawaii was hopeful that they had created a safe bubble that would allow them to begin to start to safely admit tourists to the state again. The pre-screening plan was announced in late June and was set to be implemented by August 1st. However, in the weeks between the announcement and the implementation of these new policies, cases of COVID spiked in Hawaii once again. This caused the Governor to re-evaluate how he wanted to proceed from there.
In fact, Governor Ige had to delay the re-opening phase in Hawaii three times before he finally settled on the date of October 15th for the actual reopening of the state. Hawaii seems confident that it will be able to implement this new travel phase come October, so that it can offer some sunny weather for those trapped in snow infested areas of the US and other countries. That, though, still remains to be seen.
Rough waters ahead
Despite the announcement of the reopening and the excitement for possible travelers, it is important to take the announcement with a grain of salt. To begin with, there is no guarantee that come October, a second wave of the Coronavirus will not cause the state of Hawaii (or the rest of the US) to have to implement home lockdowns again.
Hawaii, being a collection of islands, will also likely struggle with the logistical issue of getting testing locations and test kits to their islands. This might result in poorer quality tests being administered or less being available, limiting the number of travelers who can be tested safely. While the Lt. Governor of Hawaii is working on these aspects himself, the best hope travelers can have for the Aloha State is that COVID 19 will be in the rear view come October 15th.
Then, hopefully, warm and sunny sands — and a little bit of sunburn — will be all that both locals and tourists will have to concern themselves with at the time of their travel.