Out-of-state travelers will likely remain subject to quarantine restrictions beyond Oct. 1.
Gov. David Ige announced the potential extension of the mandatory, two-week quarantine for trans-Pacific visitors to Hawai‘i in an online interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Monday.
A pre-testing travel program that could possibly exempt tourists from quarantine is not yet ready to go live, as O‘ahu, the state’s most populous island, remains under lockdown for the next week and a half.
The lockdown appears to have curbed a COVID surge that gripped Hawai‘i for weeks, as daily totals of positive tests have pressed downward for several days, even despite surge testing across Honolulu County that tested 60,000 people in just two weeks.
All islands reported 80 new cases of coronavirus Monday, including seven new cases on the Big Island, which has been hit second-hardest by the jump in cases since the beginning of August.
The governor’s likely decision to extend the out-of-state travel quarantine, which has been in effect since late March, will continue to hamper an already crippled Hawai‘i economy. State economists expect the local government will lose billions in tax revenue, not to mention all the tourism dollars lost, as models project more than a 70% dip in visitor arrivals over the course of 2020.