Hawaii Considers Return To Tougher COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
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A surge in positive coronavirus infections in Hawaii has officials contemplating a return to tougher COVID-19 restrictions on travelers, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 testing for vaccinated domestic travelers, as well as implementing other requirements aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus, are all on the table, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said.

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Potential solutions such as having people show vaccination cards to get into gyms, restaurants and other public places, as well as implementing curfews to reduce activities that could further strain health care facilities, are all possible.

Sunday, August 22, was in fact a record day for cases in Hawaii, which soared to a one-day high of 893. Green said 392 COVID-19 patients were in hospitals Sunday.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“We peaked at 318 last year,” he said. “I’ve cautioned the governor and the mayors that if our numbers go much higher, we are going to lose some citizens to COVID that should be able to get care.”

A vaccination exemption has been in place since June 15 for vaccinated travelers who received at least one shot in Hawaii. It was offered July 8 to domestic trans- Pacific travelers.

The vaccine exemption has been credited with helping Hawaii’s domestic tourism rise above the peak 2019 level. It also has been criticized by some for increasing tourism demand for Hawaii, potentially contributing to coronavirus tolls.

On Saturday, 31,054 travelers arrived in Hawaii, according to Hawaii Safe Travels data. Some 26,682 of them were visitors.

“We have about 900,000 visitors coming in a month, and we are to blame for everything,” said Hewett. “You will never convince me that those numbers are right. It’s like saying the moon is made of green cheese.”

Tutu Man Kawaikapu Hewett – a founding member of Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers, an entertainer and a former Hawaii Tourism Authority board member – said he supports toughening Safe Travels entry requirements immediately as well as instituting short-term lockdowns and curfews. He also wants officials to beef up enforcement of Hawaii’s coronavirus restrictions.

“I’m a great-grandfather, a grandfather, a father. I want to make sure that everyone survives this. I’m going to support anything and everything that makes us safer,” Hewett said.





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