Pentagon lifts travel restrictions to Hawaii for military

In this image provided by the Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks to...
In this image provided by the Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks to members of the media during a news conference. (Army Staff Sgt. Nicole Mejia/Department of Defense via AP)(Staff Sgt. Brandy Nicole Mejia | AP)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2020 at 7:09 AM HST
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HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Department of Defense approved travel to Hawaii by military personnel who were previously restricted by health regulations established after the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The department released a list Monday of “green locations” for travel that includes Hawaii, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a May 22 memo allowing personnel movement on a large scale if conditions are met.

The “green” designation follows Hawaii’s easing of 14-day quarantine conditions for military personnel and family members traveling to the state under orders.

Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine for arriving residents and tourists remains in place.

Hawaii, 37 other states and the District of Columbia “meet the conditions to lift travel restrictions, subject to the assessment of conditions at individual military installations within these areas,” the defense department said.

Hawaii has already experienced an increase in arriving military personnel who were classified as exceptions to a previous “stop movement” order by the Pentagon.

There were 1,125 military personnel arrivals in Hawaii during the first week of June. Another 1,191 traveled to the state in the last two weeks of May. The transition of service members to Hawaii is normally much greater during spring and summer, officials said.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, which oversees operations in Hawaii, said last week that its own “restriction of movement” guidelines prohibit service members from going out for 14 days after arrival except for travel to places considered essential such as grocery stores, doctors or pharmacies.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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