Honolulu mayor: ‘I am concerned’ about reopening tourism on Aug. 1

As the number of COVID-19 cases grows on Oahu, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says he is concerned about reopening tourism on Aug. 1.
Updated: Jul. 6, 2020 at 10:12 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the number of COVID-19 cases spikes to double-digits, Honolulu’s mayor said he’s concerned about reopening tourism in less than a month.

“I am concerned about opening up on August 1. I think there’s risk involved because we’re inviting people back to our shores from major markets like California, where we see huge spikes in cases,” Caldwell said, in an interview on Hawaii News Now Sunrise.

Starting Aug. 1, travelers who come to Hawaii with proof of a negative COVID-19 test ― taken no more than 72 hours before arrival ― won't be subject to quarantine.

[READ MORE: State forges ahead with plan to reopen tourism with testing, despite potential loophole]

[READ MORE: Surge in COVID-19 infections on the mainland has some in Hawaii worried]

The state is highly dependent on tourism for its revenue, but with cases surging on the mainland, some are concerned Hawaii could also see an uptick.

As of Sunday, Hawaii reported 25 new cases, all on Oahu, putting the statewide total at 1,023.

"If we have 25 now, just local on Oahu with no visitors, what's it look like when we open to visitors? Does that mean we have 75 cases, 80 cases, 100 cases? And it becomes concerning," Caldwell said.

Caldwell said it’s incumbent on Lt. Gov. Josh Green and his committee of health experts to ensure that all the proper protocols are in place to protect the state. That includes the capacity to conduct testing as well as contact tracing.

“There’s a lot that needs to happen between now and Aug. 1,” Caldwell said.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.