Survey: 8 in 10 residents say they aren’t ready to welcome tourists back

Updated: Jul. 14, 2020 at 8:58 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state’s lockdown this spring aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus brought the economy to a grinding halt and resulted in tens of thousands of layoffs.

But despite the economic pain, most Hawaii residents support the government’s swift action, according to a new survey. And the majority would be OK with restrictions being re-instituted if the virus spikes again.

The poll from the University of Hawaii Public Policy Center asked 600 residents for their thoughts on the state’s response to coronavirus.

[Read more: Ige delays plan to reopen tourism until Sept. 1 amid COVID-19 surge on the mainland]

The vast majority ― some 88% ― thought various public health restrictions were “mostly reasonable” and more than half said they still felt a little to very unsafe going to places with many other people.

The poll also underscored the scale of the economic devastation that the pandemic has caused.

About 7% said someone in their household had permanently lost a job ― while more than 1 in 3 said a household member had temporarily been laid off.

Much of the kamaaina economy has reopened, but the tourism industry remains shuttered and the governor on Monday announced that a plan to welcome visitors back has been pushed to Sept. 1.

Some 81% of residents agreed they don’t want “tourists come to visit my community right now.”

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