Hawaii Governor Delays Program That Would Allow Tourists To Visit Without Quarantining

Gov. David Y. Ige said earlier this month that he believed the program would be 'very difficult' to launch

Hawaii Governor Delays Program That Would Allow Tourists To Visit Without Quarantining

After saying earlier this month that he believed it would be “very difficult” to launch, Hawaii Gov. David Y. Ige confirmed this week that the state’s pre-travel testing program will be delayed — yet again — until at least Oct. 1.

The program, which would have allowed trans-Pacific visitors to bypass a mandatory 14-day quarantine by presenting the results of a negative COVID-19 screening, was originally slated to begin on Aug. 1, but was already delayed until at least Sept. 1, per a July press release from the Department of Transportation.

“We had planned to begin the pre-travel testing program on September 1,” Gov. Ige said at a Tuesday news conference. “I am announcing today that we are delaying the start of the pre-travel testing. It will not begin until October 1 at the earliest.

“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.”

Gov. Ige added that he would confirm the Oct. 1 start date in advance, allowing the state’s hospitality sector to prepare.

Other announcements from Tuesday’s news conference concerned the island of Oahu, specifically, and the reinstatement of restrictions on social gatherings. Gov. Ige further confirmed that another mandate, which requires residents of other Hawaiian islands to quarantine for 14-days following inter-island travel, is still in effect.

On Tuesday, Hawaii recorded 134 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the state’s total number of cases to 5,349.

(Fox News)