On April 25, 2020, Gov. Ige announced a new supplementary emergency proclamation to continue the mandatory 14-day quarantine for all persons traveling to the state of Hawaii and/or traveling inter-island. This quarantine is to continue through May 31, 2020. As a reminder, these are the quarantine requirements:
The mandatory 14-day self-quarantine orders are:
- Proceed directly from the airport to your designated quarantine location, which is the location identified and affirmed by you on the mandatory State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture Plants and Animals Declaration Form.
- Remain in your designated quarantine location for a period of 14 days or the duration of your stay in the State of Hawai‘i, whichever is shorter.
- If you are a resident, your designated quarantine location is your place of residence.
- If you are a visitor, your designated quarantine location is your hotel room or rented lodging.
- You can only leave your designated quarantine location for medical emergencies or to seek medical care.
- Do not visit any public spaces, including but not limited to pools, meeting rooms, fitness centers or restaurants.
- Do not allow visitors in or out of your designated quarantine location other than a physician, healthcare provider, or individual authorized to enter the designated quarantine location by the Director of HIEMA.
- Comply with any and all rules or protocols related to your quarantine as set forth by your hotel or rented lodging.
- If you become ill with a fever or cough:
- Continue to stay in designated quarantine location, avoid contact with others and contact a healthcare provider for further instructions on treatment or testing.
- If you are older or have any medical conditions (e.g., immune compromise, diabetes, asthma), consult your regular healthcare provider.
- If you feel you need medical care, contact healthcare provider and inform them of your travel history.
- If you need urgent medical care (e.g., have difficulty breathing), call 9-1-1 and let the dispatcher know your travel history).
Failure to follow this order is a misdemeanor and punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. Enforcement will be handled by each of Hawaiʻi’s four counties.
In addition to the continuation of the quarantine requirements, the governor’s new supplementary emergency proclamation also extended Hawaii’s stay-at-home orders through May 31, 2020. In his press conference, the governor said,
“The stay-at-home order means residents may leave their homes only for various essential needs, including healthcare, purchasing food, medicine, gasoline, taking care of the elderly, minors, or those with disabilities, returning to a place of residence outside of Hawai‘i, picking up educational materials for distance learning, receiving meals or other related services. Outdoor exercise is also permitted – including swimming, surfing and walking pets.
In addition, running, jogging or walking on the beach will be permitted, as long as social distancing requirements are observed.”
In the governor’s April 25, 2020 press conference, he did indicate that there’s a possibility of relaxing some restrictions before the end of May. That would be contingent on a further decrease in the number of cases, comprehensive testing and a surveillance capacity and a well-developed contact tracing system.
So, what’s going to happen in June and beyond? What does it mean for tourism? It’s all very speculative at this point. No one has experience in restarting tourism in the dwindling days of a global pandemic. There’s not a switch to flip everything back to normal starting June 1, 2020.
Here are some questions we have that no one has the answers to:
- Could a visitor quarantine be extended past May 31, 2020? After the 14-day quarantine is lifted, could a different quarantine be required? Instead of 14-days, would a shorter quarantine be required?
- Will any virus testing be required for incoming visitors?
- When will restaurants, tours and attractions reopen?
- When will beaches reopen for sunbathing and loitering?
- What sort of social distancing requirements will there be in the early days of reopening and going forward?
- How quickly after May 31, 2020 can hotels, restaurants and tours restart and ramp up operations?
- How quickly will the airlines be able to respond to increasing flights back to Hawaii?
- Will visitors be welcomed to Hawaii? Prior to the shutdown, there was a startling stigma building against visitors. We still see and hear the continuation of this stigma with some residents fully blaming visitors for bringing the coronavirus to Hawaii despite the fact that the vast majority of cases were brought in by Hawaii residents who traveled outside of the state.
As you can see, there are a lot of questions to answer in the coming weeks.
Related resources for a further understanding of the thoughts and plans to reopen tourism in Hawaii:
- Overview of the governor’s newest order from HawaiiNewsNow
- COVID-19 pause gives Hawaii a chance to restore tourism balance
- Passenger quarantines aren’t likely to end once Hawaii reopens
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