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Re-opening for Hawaii Tourism could start in July

Re-opening for Hawaii Tourism could start in July
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Hawaii closed immediately when COVID-19 showed in the Aloha State, but it may take a little longer to lead the State and specifically the City of Honolulu back to business toward a re-opening for Hawaii tourism.

The stay-at-home order today was renamed to “RestoreHonolulu” today. The order for people in Honolulu to stay at home was extended until June 30 and may be extended longer according to Mayor Caldwell.

However, some retail stores will be allowed to open as of tomorrow, and a concept on how to operate restaurants safely is being worked out. Such a proposal will be presented to Hawaii Governor Ige by Monday.

The Honolulu Mayor said the city is planning to allow sidewalk dining, including liquor consumption during extended daytime use, assuring the city is quiet for those that want to sleep at night. Restaurants should have an entry and an exit door to avoid visitors bumping into each other.  Social distancing in restaurants, shops, and beaches must be observed.

The Mayor emphasized that only 2 weeks after a measure is taken, results in regards to the virus spread will be visible. Therefore, it is a slow process to do an opening safely and step by step.

Since almost everyone in Hawaii is directly or indirectly involved in the travel and tourism industry, Mayor Kirk Caldwell told eTurboNews today that he and the city of Honolulu are all in to join the conversation with State authorities and the Hawaii Tourism Authority on how to work together on opening the visitor industry in a safe manner for our citizens and visitors.

Today marks 7 weeks since the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine started for all passengers arriving in Hawaii from out of state. Yesterday, 881 people arrived in Hawaii including 246 visitors and 329 residents. During this same time last year, nearly 30,000 passengers arrived in Hawaii daily, including residents and visitors. The quarantine order was expanded on April 1 to include interisland travelers.

The relatively large number despite the 14-day quarantine requirement by visitors has become a challenge. It becomes almost impossible to enforce when visitors stay with family or friends or in vacation or Airbnb rentals. Visitors seemed to have found a loophole to go around the quarantine requirements when not booking a hotel.

The Mayor said visitors are not allowed to stay in vacation rentals – period.

So-called visitors are also arriving in Honolulu requesting space in homeless shelters. This is putting a burden on the City of Honolulu, and Mayor Caldwell has been consulting with HTA on how to stop this and continue to move forward on the re-opening for Hawaii Tourism.