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Curfew in Waikiki, but Governor Ige is still not ready to stop tourism

Curfew in Waikiki, but Governor Ige is still not ready to stop tourism

In the State of Hawaii, the island of Oahu, including famous Waikiki, will be on a complete curfew. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell today ordered to make it illegal to be outside this Easter Holiday weekend unless for emergencies starting Friday, through Saturday, and Sunday night from 11:00 pm (2300 hours) until 5:00 am (0500 hours).

Isolation is the only key to keep an island state safe. It’s an advantage an island has, and Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or any island nation should be aware of this benefit.

Today also marks 2 weeks since Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. It started for all passengers arriving in Hawaii from out of state. Those who arrived on March 26 no longer need to self-quarantine. Yesterday, 689 people arrived in Hawaii including 107 visitors and 274 residents.

Hawaii Governor Ige seems to have a problem standing up to the federal government in submitting a petition to ban all flights from the U.S. mainland and shut down leisure travel to the Aloha State.

Puerto Rico’s Governor on Wednesday asked federal officials to ban all flights from U.S. cities with a high number of coronavirus cases to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. territory.

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Hawaii Governor Ige, however, told journalists in yesterday’s press conference that federal authorities would not entertain such a petition. Therefore, Ige did not submit a petition even after he was urged by all 4 mayors of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai counties. After checking with Mayors on Kauai and Maui, they were still expecting a response from the Governor today.

The Governor apparently told the mayor that Airlines are unable to discriminate as to who boards their planes, whether they are visitors, residents or otherwise.

Ironically airlines may be the cause of the problem why Hawaii cannot seal up to more imported Coronavirus cases. $99 air fares fromthe US mainland make it possisble.

Would Mayor Caldwell consider to order hotels not to accept leisure travelers. This is done in Arkansas and also in many countries including Germany now.

eTurboNews asked Honolulu mayor Caldwell if he would consider following the example Arkansas put in place to no longer allow hotel bookings for leisure stays.

Caldwell respsonded: “We haven’t considered this as an option, because if people do travel to Hawaii during this pandemic, they need a place to stay, and hotels are able to monitor people under quarantine more effectively than other options.”

If it was illegal for hotels to accept leisure travelers this argument is difficult to follow. It appears if this was the case the Best Western Airport hotel  in Honolulu  would be a good “resort” to monitor tourists instead of an oceanfront luxury resort in Waikiki. eTN is waiting for the mayor’s feedback.

Defending his administration’s response to the coronavirus, President Donald Trump falsely asserted that travelers at U.S. airports are being routinely tested for COVID-19. He made groundless accusations against a government watchdog, and he wrongly claimed the Obama administration did nothing during a flu pandemic. The fact remains, there are no such tests on domestic flights, and former President Obama set up a virus response system after the ebola crisis, a system the current president has not taken advantage of. On Wednesday, President Obama said Trump’s administration has failed to establish a “robust system of testing” for the COVID-19 coronavirus. He tweeted:

“Social distancing bends the curve and relieves some pressure on our heroic medical professionals. But in order to shift off current policies, the key will be a robust system of testing and monitoring — something we have yet to put in place nationwide.”

Puerto Rico officials accused some visitors of taking medicine to lower their fevers to avoid being placed in quarantine by National Guard troops screening people at the island’s main international airport. At least 2 passengers from New York who lowered their fever with medication are now hospitalized in the island with COVID-19, according to the National Guard.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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