Honolulu Mayor wants tourists back while Governor Ige says: Wait!

Honolulu Mayor Caldwell brought up an interesting point at a press conference outside Honolulu Hale today when asked by eTurboNews about the Governor’s indication in an earlier interview with the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper, to extend the quarantine requirement again,

Hawaii tourism went to a state of shock after the interview.

Mayor Caldwell understands this problem. He agreed with Juergen Steinmetz, chair of the rebuilding.travel network from eTurboNews that tourism is everyone’s business in Honolulu, regardless if you are a direct part of this industry.

The mayor recognized Hawaii has been doing well when it comes to COVID. He said this was recognized by the White House and it was why Hawaii was picked for a surge testing project.

Caldwell also recognized the burden on law enforcement to monitor up to 1000 arriving visitors every day. 1000 visitors a day are still arriving at the state knowing they are only allowed in their hotel rooms for the first 2 weeks of their vacation. Honolulu hired special agents to police this requirement, but to control every visitor is impossible.

The mayor said: “If everyone arriving in the State of Hawaii already has to show a negative COVID-19 test certificate this burden on the police department would tremendously be lowered. It could mean tourists could again enjoy our beaches, and the visitors’ industry could recover.”

The mayor added: “Visitors choose Hawaii for their vacation because they know they can be safe here.”

OPINION: The mayor is correct. This would be a win/win compromise for health, safety, and the urgently needed restart of the essential tourism economy in Hawaii. The loophole is that also people with no tests would be able to fly and required to still follow a 14-day mandatory quarantine. How realistic is that such visitors could re-introduce the virus and spread it not only in the regular population but also in tourism hot spots, like Waikiki.

HNL Mayor Kirk Caldwell

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Juergen Steinmetz

A complete pre-testing requirement or quarantine prior to boarding a flight to Hawaii should be a requirement for everyone. A second COVID-19 speed test upon arrival should be the second step in this process,

eTN reader Scott Katsinas from Tuscon, Arizona said:  I just read your article about Hawaii’s governor likely extending the quarantine. I appreciated that your article was written objectively, and your plaudits for the governor’s likely action were preceded by the word OPINION. Good journalism — would be nice if CNN & FOX could do the same.

But while you appear to understand the gravity of the consequences, I cannot agree with your opinion. No one in their right mind would subject themselves to quarantine if given a choice, and most of us have learned that personal responsibility is the key to avoiding the virus.
Any further spread is likely to be locally generated. And as you said, instead of us going to Hawaii, the islanders will be forced to move here.
Hard to see how that is a victory for anyone.

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