Green supports end to inter-island quarantine ahead of plan to reopen tourism

Updated: Sep. 28, 2020 at 11:47 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With a significant drop in active COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said he feels it’s safe to lift the inter-island quarantine rule.

But whether that will actually happen isn’t yet clear.

“Cases are flattening, we’ve been averaging closer to 100 cases a day as opposed to 250 a day which is where we were three weeks ago,” said Green, adding the state is down to nearly 150 hospitalizations.

The state’s pre-travel testing program is set to launch on Oct. 15, allowing trans-Pacific travelers to forgo a mandatory 14-day quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19 before arrival.

But there’s no similar program in place for interi-island travel.

Instead, the governor has said he is working with the mayors on the issue.

County mayors appear to disagree about how to proceed.

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said they’ve also looked into applying the testing program to inter-island travel. “However, I’m am told at this point, it’s not very practical or better yet not even possible because of the availability of testing,” said Kim. “If you times the number of tourists that may come in and you post testing or interisland traveling, there’s just not enough testing to do that.”

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino, meanwhile, said in a press conference on Friday that they hope to have an announcement approved by the governor by next week Wednesday. Victorino adds that they’re looking into a modified quarantine instead of having people isolate for the full 14 days.

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