As tourism relaunch approaches, Oahu moves closer to second phase of reopening

As tourism relaunch approaches, Oahu moves closer to second phase of reopening

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As Oahu keeps its case count low, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the city is moving toward the next phase of reopening.

“it’s real important starting today,” Caldwell said in a news conference.

“Today we start measuring and two weeks from now, if we remain at the kind of numbers we are talking about today, we go into tier 2 and that’s really important.”

Under city guidelines, tier 2 will allow more businesses to reopen or expand their capacity.

Meanwhile, Honolulu is in its final week of preparation before reopening to visitors with a pre-travel testing program. Caldwell says the city and state are still working out the Safe Travels online application and logistics when visitors arrive at the airport, but he’s confident the relaunch will not be pushed back.

The program is set to launch Oct. 15.

“I think it’s all systems go," he said. “I don’t want any one of your viewers to think that somehow as mayor we should delay that date."

While Oahu is set to re-open, the Neighbor Islands are still determining their visitor protocols.

Neighbor Island mayors are advocating for a second test post-arrival, which is something Caldwell would like as well. But he’s willing to wait on implementation.

“I don’t think you are gonna have a flood of people coming in,” Caldwell said.

“It’s gonna be a slow rollout. We’ll learn from the pre-test program."

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