(BIVN) – In less than one week, the mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling interisland in Hawaiʻi will be back in effect.
Governor David Ige announced the reinstatement during a media conference on Thursday, as COVID-19 cases surge on Oʻahu. From the State of Hawaiʻi:
The governor said that he and all the county mayors agree that additional measures are necessary to make sure that cases do not spread, uncontrolled, across the entire state. “I know many of you will be disappointed to hear this news. Interisland travel is an important way for families and friends to stay in touch. I wish this was not necessary, but your health and safety must always come first,” Governor Ige said. He encouraged anyone traveling interisland to check airport websites for updates.
The governor also addressed concerns that everything would be shut down again. He said in order to avoid further damage to the community, including to the economy, the strategy is to eliminate large, uncontrolled gatherings that are happening both outdoors and indoors.
Governor Ige had strong words for people who have let their guard down contributing to the surge in cases, “It has been very disappointing and infuriating. I hate to see people not wearing masks and gathering in large groups with little regard for safety. I know people are frustrated and everyone wants life to return to normal, but we still need to be vigilant.”
UPDATE (5 p.m.) – In another news release, the governor further clarified the restriction, calling it a “partial” inter-island travel quarantine, saying:
During an afternoon news conference, the governor said that he would reinstate the quarantine for all interisland travelers, although details were still being developed. However, after further discussions with Attorney General Clare Connors, Gov. Ige has decided that he will approve the inter-island travel quarantine only for travelers arriving on the counties of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Maui and Kalawao. The quarantine requirement applies to any person traveling to these islands. The period of self-quarantine will begin immediately upon arrival and last 14 days or the duration of the person’s stay on the island, whichever is shorter.
Hawaiʻi State Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson revealed today that intensive care units on O‘ahu could be overrun before the end of this month, based on the current projections.
The State and the County of Honolulu are also beginning an “Act with Care – Do Not Gather” order for the County of Honolulu, effective beginning on Saturday, August 8 at midnight. The new order will remain in effect until midnight on September 4. According to the State, the key points of the order are:
- All city parks, recreational facilities in parks, campgrounds and botanical gardens will be closed (except for traversing to the ocean for exercise and other activities permitted by law)
- Organized team sports are suspended
- All beaches are closed (see DLNR item below)
- Bowling alleys, arcades, and mini-golf facilities are closed
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s amended order “allows fitness facilities to remain in operation with physical distancing and face covering measures in place, though group classes are prohibited,” a news release stated. “Many other businesses and types of services are allowed to continue operations under the amended order. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard and Acting Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto also provided information on stepped-up enforcement efforts to make sure people are complying with the new restrictions.”