The state of Hawaii has opted to extend its Covid-19 related restrictions for a further 60 days. Cases of Covid-19 are falling following a spike in numbers on the island throughout August and October. However, the decision to extend the restrictions was made due to a concern about levels of the virus still being on the high side, and fears about what could happen when the restrictions are removed.
With its famous beaches and backdrops, Hawaii was bound to be on many a traveler’s list of places to visit over the upcoming winter travel season – however, the decision to extend restrictions on the island could see potential visitors think twice and head for an alternate destination. Here’s a look at why the restrictions are being extended a further 60 days, what the restrictions are and which travelers can visit Hawaii at present.
Restrictions Extended – What Travelers Should Know
The decision to extend Hawaii’s Covid-19 restrictions was revealed by Hawaii’s governor, David Ige, on Friday when he signed an emergency proclamation. The decision means that Hawaii’s emergency orders requiring masks and regulating travel would be extended for another 60 days, expiring on November 30th. Masks will now have to be worn by those in Hawaii whilst in indoor spaces in public settings for the duration of the extension.
On top of the extension of the mask-wearing requirements, the proclamation also means that certain travel restrictions will be extended until November 30th too. In order to avoid 10 days of quarantine upon arrival in Hawaii, travelers must show proof of vaccination or a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of their flight to Hawaii – restrictions that could see travelers put off the idea of visiting the island until the extension expires.
The decision is bound to come as a blow to many, with Hawaii seemingly so close to loosening its restrictions. Governor Ige had previously stated that Hawaii would lift all of its Covid-19 restrictions once it has vaccinated 70% of its population. The current vaccination level stands at 68%, however, the current Covid-19 situation on the islands means that alternative measures must be taken.
Hawaii is currently averaging just below 300 cases a day. Whilst this is some way off its average of 900 reported last month, it is still considered too high not to extend restrictions. Speaking about the decision, Ige said:
“We continue to monitor the health care situation in our Islands, but we feel it is important that we continue and extend the emergency proclamation today.”
Echoing the views of the governor, Dr. Libby Char, Director of the Department of Health, said:
“We are heading in the right direction, but it is still too soon to let our guard down. We have a few weeks to go before we expect to be back at levels we can manage ourselves with our current resources and people.”
Travelers from the US, Canada, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Tahiti and Taiwan must be tested for Covid-19 and must upload their results to the Safe Travels Hawaii site prior to travel in order to avoid quarantine. Travelers from other countries will be required to go through quarantine. Those who have been to Brazil, China, the European Schengen Area, Iran, India, Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom in the past 14 days will be denied entry. Some restrictions, including those on the UK and EU, are set to change in the coming weeks.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com