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Hawaii Begs Tourists to Stay Away

SmarterTravel

If you have a trip planned to Hawaii in the near future, the Hawaiian government is urging you to postpone. The state’s hospitals are reportedly overwhelmed amidst a huge spike in COVID-19 cases, attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant. 

At a recent press conference, Hawaii Governor David Ige asked tourists to avoid visiting the islands until at least the end of October. “Our hospitals are reaching capacity and our ICUs are filling up. Now is not a good time to travel to Hawaii,” Ige pleaded. 

The state is anticipating a timeline of six to seven weeks to see a significant reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases. 

John De Fries, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, agreed with Ige. “Our community, residents and the visitor industry, are responsible for working together to address this crisis,” De Fries said. “As such, we are strongly advising visitors that now is not the right time to travel, and they should postpone their trips through the end of October.”

Visitor requirements to Hawaii have not changed despite this call to pause tourism. Hawaii recently dropped its strict entry requirement for tourists, allowing vaccinated travelers to visit without needing to test or quarantine. (Unvaccinated travelers must still present proof of a negative test or undergo a 10-day quarantine.)

Ige indicated that the state would be unlikely to reinstate entry requirements for vaccinated travelers due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s stance that vaccinated travelers can travel safely domestically. However, Ige did not rule out a return to a strict lockdown within Hawaii (for both residents and tourists) if cases continue to rise.

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