Hawaii Confirms Reopening Delayed to October 2020 or Later

Hawaii Likely to Delay Reopening to October 2020
Hawaii is Likely to Delay Its Reopening to October 2020 or Later

Updated 8/19/20

Hawaii Confirmed Reopening is Delayed Until October 2020 or later, based on the surge in coronavirus cases the state is seeing, as well as the increased percentage of those testing positive for COVID-19. On 8/18/20, Governor Ige announced that trans-pacific travel, which was supposed to resume 9/1/20 and allow visitors to avoid quarantine by obtaining a negative PCR test result prior to flying, will be delayed until October 1, 2020 at the earliest.

Some Hawaii hotels have already adjusted to the new reality: the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui is only available for reservations starting October 1, 2020.

In July, Hawaii was already reporting increased numbers of coronavirus cases, from ~20 per day earlier in the month to 122 on July 31, compared to the single digit number of daily new cases throughout May and most of June, due to the shutdown.

To compound the bad news, recently the percentage of positive cases has been 7.9%, well above Hawaii's previous 2-3% positivity rate in the spring. By way of comparison, New York state's positivity rate is currently ~1%.

Lt. Governor Josh Green recommends that Hawaii moves back to the “orange” level, possibly with a two week shutdown, and the 14-day interisland travel quarantine has been reinstated through August 31 for inter-island travelers arriving on any Hawaiian island except Oahu.

Hawaii Health Director Bruce Anderson has stated that coronavirus is widespread on Oahu, which has rendered contact tracing increasingly difficult. On August 6, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced that Honolulu city and state parks, beaches, botanical gardens, tennis courts, swimming pools, bowling alleys and hiking trails will be closed through September 5. And as of August 7, civilian family members of active duty military will have to abide by Hawaii's mandatory 14-day quarantine, a reversal of the previous exemption.

That said, with the rising number of coronavirus cases, and over 50% of Hawaii's ICU beds occupied, it's more than likely that Ige soon make an announcement to further delay the reopening of Hawaii to transpacific travel. Hotels need at least 3 weeks lead time, so an announcement is expected in the next few days.

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