Hawaii Eases Covid Restrictions and Reopens for Tourists

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U.S.|Hawaii is easing restrictions and preparing to invited backmost tourists.


Shopping successful  Waikiki, a vicinity  of Honolulu, successful  August.
Credit...Caleb Jones/Associated Press
  • Nov. 4, 2021Updated 9:48 a.m. ET

Signaling that Hawaii is anxious to jump-start its battered tourism and hospitality industries, Gov. David Y. Ige said that his authorities would easiness Covid restrictions this period and invited planetary travelers again, nether caller federal guidelines that spell into effect connected Nov. 8.

The governor’s determination was a turnaround for a authorities that lone 2 months agone was advising travelers not to visit, arsenic it dealt with the worst surge of coronavirus cases it had seen, a question of unwellness driven by the highly contagious Delta variant that overwhelmed hospitals and halted Hawaii’s economical recovery.

During the tallness of the pandemic successful 2020, Hawaii endured months of lockdown, imposing strict, 14-day quarantine protocols and suffering the economical consequences to its tourism economy.

Now, with debased rates of hospitalizations and caller cases, the islands are again acceptable for business, officials say. On Sept. 2, the state’s seven-day regular mean of caller cases was 910. As of Tuesday, it had dropped to 116, according to a New York Times database.

On Tuesday, the politician signed an executive order that volition assistance capableness limits aboriginal this period connected bars, restaurants and gyms successful counties that necessitate patrons to contiguous impervious of vaccination oregon a caller antagonistic Covid trial to enter. Hawaii is divided into 4 main counties — 1 for the large island; 1 for Oahu; 1 for the islands successful between, including Maui and Molokai; and 1 for the islands westbound of Oahu, including Kauai.

At a quality conference, Mr. Ige said the state’s vaccination campaign, which has inoculated astir 60 percent of the eligible population, had driven caller cases and hospitalizations down to a level that makes it imaginable to easiness restrictions.

“The vaccination is the astir wide and important mitigation measurement during this pandemic that each of america tin instrumentality idiosyncratic enactment to implement,” the politician said successful a news conference.

The enforcement bid from the politician comes 2 weeks aft helium announced that afloat vaccinated home tourists would beryllium invited to sojourn the islands again starting Nov. 1.

Counties that don’t necessitate impervious of vaccinations oregon a antagonistic Covid trial volition inactive person to bounds capableness successful bars, restaurants and gyms to 50 percent, according to the order.

The bid besides says that patrons indispensable support six feet of region and deterioration masks portion wrong restaurants and bars, but portion eating oregon drinking — a measurement that the politician of Honolulu, Rick Blangiardi, questioned.

Mr. Blangiardi said successful a connection that keeping the social-distancing request would forestall immoderate businesses from operating astatine afloat capableness and “does not determination the needle guardant for galore of the impacted restaurants and bars.”

Still, the governor’s bid was grounds that the authorities was making advancement connected the pandemic, immoderate officials said.

“We’re dilatory starting to travel retired of it, which is good,” Brandon J.C. Elefante, a Honolulu City Council member, said successful an interrogation connected Wednesday. “I deliberation that’s an important measurement arsenic we benignant of easiness up connected immoderate of the restrictions, portion inactive keeping a adjacent ticker connected our positivity rate,” helium said.

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