Hawaii officials initially hoped to fully reopen the state on the 1st of September to international visitors with a valid negative COVID-19 test. Currently, any visitors must do a 14-day mandatory quarantine. Mid-August, this date was pushed back to 1st October. However, the latest lockdown order makes this reopening date appear overly ambitious.
Hawaii’s Reopening Plan for Tourism Could be at Risk
At a news conference, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell commented that: “The one thing we’re not going to do a second time is rush to reopen and then have a second spike,” Caldwell said. “We’re going to be much more cautious, much more conservative.”
The decline in passengers and tourists has led to many airlines dropping flights between the mainland and the Hawaiian Islands. Southwest Airlines normally runs 12 daily flights to Hawaii, however, now they are only operating 2 flights per day.
With tourism at an all-time low, this has forced many hotels to close their doors. Local restaurants and retail businesses are also suffering. As of Monday, the seven-day average for new infections in Hawaii is 213. There were also more than 6,800 active cases statewide.
It seems unlikely that Honolulu will resume normal activity from September 23rd to open for global tourism on October 1st.