For a long time, Hawaii has been a summer holiday destination for Americans especially those residing in California. However, this year a lot of peoples’ plans have been sidetracked by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Since borders to different States have been closed, local governments and states have considered easing such restrictions with the dwindling number of new infection cases at the beginning of July.
However, after the mass protests for #Black Lives Matter (BLM), a new surge of infections are currently being witnessed two weeks after July commenced. Therefore, States like Hawaii have to reconsider their initial decisions to ease travel restrictions into the state for individuals seeking a summer vacation.
It is important to note that summer holidays begin in June and end in August. The situation leaves vacationers who schedule their holidays for the same period with barely a month to travel to Hawaii to enjoy sandy beaches and fulfilling sun.
The Situation in Hawaii
David Ige, Hawaii’s Governor, had initially proposed that beginning August 1, the island would be accessible to vacationers without the mandatory 14-day quarantine period. Foregoing the quarantine period meant that vacationers had to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from a CLIA certified laboratory 72 hours before travel. The laboratory also had to be FDA approved.
The proposal was a ray of hope for many vacationers who had begun booking and making arrangements to travel. However, the new coronavirus infection surge in the United States (US) mainland has made chances for people aiming for a short vacation even grimmer. Hawaii is also experiencing a surge in cases with Oahu leading in cases of coronavirus.
Ige with the support of local mayors pushed back the date for opening Hawaii’s tourism sector. He pushed the date from August 1st to September 1st. The decision is a blow to vacationers who had made an early booking for the pristine destination. Technically, it is still possible to travel to Hawaii but the 14-day mandatory quarantine period is still in effect.
Can Vacationers Still Access Hawaii?
Theoretically, Hawaii is still accessible but two major obstacles will make it a challenge for vacationers to access the islands:
- Hawaii’s official date for reopening the tourism sector is unknown
- 72 hours prior to arrival is little time to get the right COVID-19 test lab
The September 1st opening date is a provisional date because the position on the pandemic’s rise or fall is unknown. If the numbers for coronavirus infections continue to rise, then it would be irresponsible to still consider reopening the island for tourism in September. If the situation continues to worsen, the logical approach for the Governor would be to consider a total lockdown.
Getting a test lab during the surge will be a problem because most will be handling tests for residents. Therefore, a vacationer may not be able to be tested and will have to comply with the 14-day quarantine regulations. The regulation would eat too much into the vacation time. Reduced flights are an added challenge to accessing Hawaii. Therefore, chances for a vacation in Hawaii are quite challenging at the moment.
This World Brief was written by contributor Victor Kanake. Source: MSN