Launch of plan to welcome tourists back is once again delayed

Launch of plan to welcome tourists back is once again delayed
The visitor quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on Waikiki, forcing businesses to close. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s tourism industry is being hit once again with yet another delay to the state’s pre-travel testing program.

At a news conference Tuesday, Gov. David Ige said the program was being pushed back until at least Oct. 1.

The program would call for tourists flying to Hawaii to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in the islands.

This decision to further delay the so-called “restart of tourism” is continuing to put a strain on the industry and its workers as hotels are mostly empty and tourism hot spots have turned to ghost towns.

“We will continue to monitor the conditions here in Hawaii as well as key markets on the mainland to determine the appropriate start date for the pre-travel testing program,” Ige said.

But with the trans-pacific traveler quarantine still in effect, that’s not stopping thousands of people from flying to the state.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported that on Monday alone, 2,305 people total — returning residents, military, visitors and intended residents — flew into the state.

The day before, the number was 2,173. And on Saturday, 1,172.

This story will be updated.

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