As many Maui residents eagerly await the return of tourism to the islands, they will, unfortunately, have to continue waiting until Governor Ige deems it safe to let travelers return to the islands without a mandatory quarantine. The 14-day travel quarantine will now be extended until July 31st. In a press release, Governor Ige gave the impression that he understands why it is important to reopen out-of-state travel and recognizes what a lifeline it is for the Hawaiian economy, but says ‘we’re not there yet, and we are being cautious’. The extra measure of caution we are seeing from the governor’s office is likely due to the fact that there has been an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in areas where large numbers of tourists travel to vacation in Hawaii. Those areas include Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Texas.
For those that don’t know, the 14-day travel quarantine requires that anyone flying into Hawaii, even if they are residents are required to self-quarantine in their hotel room or home until they are clear of the 14 day COVID-19 incubation period. Governor Ige also said there are many options on the table as far as how to continue opening the state in a systematic fashion that will prevent infection spikes. Some of the options mentioned so far involve extensive screening, more testing, and strongly enforcing the quarantine for tourists arriving in Hawaii. Already we have seen stories in the news of tourists being taken to jail and heavily fined for violating quarantine and putting the community at risk.
The exact plan or course of action that should be taken to ensure that people can once again travel here safely is unclear, though many Hawaii residents agree that keeping tourists out for an extended period of time is doing more harm than good. Without a pipeline of international tourists and travelers from the mainland, many local businesses will likely not be able to survive, causing permanent damage to the Hawaiian economy and forcing lifelong residents to move off-island.
Our team is eager to return to some sort of normalcy and to once again be able to see our clients from the mainland. If you have any questions about real estate on Maui or simply want to check-in, feel free to reach out at any time.
Stay safe and healthy!