Hawaii to lift 14-day quarantine on travelers negative for Covid-19

(CNN) — You can finally go to Hawaii without quarantining — if you have tested negative for Covid-19.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Hawaii has been serious about keeping the virus out. Gov. David Ige established a 14-day mandatory quarantine for visitors and returning residents on March 26 and has since extended the quarantine through July 31.

On Wednesday, Ige announced an amendment to the mandatory quarantine that likely has visitors, returning residents and local businesses smiling for the very first time in 3 months.

“Beginning August 1, travelers who have a valid negative Covid-19 test prior to arriving will not be subject to the 14-day mandatory quarantine.”

While additional details are still to come, this development may be the first sign of Hawaii returning to some semblance of normal since tourism came to a standstill this past spring.

The Four Seasons Hualalai on the Island of Hawaii

Courtesy Four Seasons Hualalai

Hawaii’s tourism business has fundamentally zeroed out, so any glimmer of hope for the safe return of travelers is surely welcome.

Last month, the state began exploring the feasibility of a travel “bubble” with Japan, which will similarly allow Japanese tourists to bypass quarantine when they meet certain criteria.

It would seem Ige’s pronouncement negates the necessity of the “bubble” approach, though that he offered no specifics throughout Wednesday’s news conference.

What he did say, though, strongly implies that Hawaii needs to get those tourist dollars straight back. Ige, however, remains vigilant about doing all he is able to to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of both residents and visitors to the islands of Hawaii.

The world's tallest sea cliffs are in Molokai, Hawaii

The world’s tallest sea cliffs are in Molokai, Hawaii

Shutterstock

“The health of our community remains our primary focus. This multilayered, pre-travel testing and screening process allows travelers an alternative to the 14-day travel quarantine in a way that protects the health and safety of our kama’āina and visitors,” Ige said. “Now is the time to work together to ensure that our local businesses can safely reopen to incoming travelers.”

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