The state of Hawaii is getting ready to loosen a few of the strict pandemic restrictions that have hammered its tourism business, together with the requirement that arriving travelers spend 14 days in quarantine.
Starting on Oct. 15, travelers will be allowed to skip the quarantine if they’ll present a negative virus take a look at end result from an accepted supply, taken not more than 72 hours earlier than arrival. The pre-travel testing program had been set to start over the summer time, however was postponed when the virus surged on the islands.
Travelers who don’t wish to be examined can nonetheless decide to quarantine as an alternative, elevating issues that untested travelers may infect examined passengers on flights to the islands.
A negative take a look at shouldn’t be a assure of lack of an infection: It can take a number of days after publicity for the quantity of virus in an contaminated particular person’s physique to rise excessive sufficient to supply a constructive end result. The state stated it will randomly take a look at 10 p.c of incoming passengers 4 days after arrival to evaluate the plan’s effectiveness.
Hawaii has reported greater than 13,000 instances of the virus, and greater than 160 deaths, in response to a New York Times database. The state will continue to require wearing a mask in public, and some inter-island travel will remain restricted.
The new measures are meant to help revive the state’s tourism industry, which makes up about a quarter of its economy. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported in August that travel to the islands the previous month was down almost 98 percent compared with the same month in 2019.
“It’s important that people know we welcome them as long as they’ve gotten their test,” Lt. Gov. Josh Green told The Associated Press. Mr. Green, an emergency room doctor, is heading the new testing program. He recently recovered from Covid-19.