Lawmakers of Hawaii island are discussing a bill that looks forward to standardizing the travel restrictions imposed across the islands owing to pandemic outbreak. This bill is quite different from the current set of liberal rules that allows all counties to frame their own set of safety measures.
This bill was placed for discussion before the House Finance Committee’s members on this Thursday.
New Rules May Come Into Effect For Trips To Hawaii
Presently, all island counties enjoy the liberty of opting out of the program of Hawaii State, “Safe Travels”. This program requires just one negative test of Covid-19 immediately before going to Hawaii so as to skip mandatory quarantine. These counties can ask people to further quarantine for a span of 10 days, make it mandatory for additional screening such as secondary screening or make modified quarantine.
Any exit from the plan of the state requires governor’s approval.
Now the new measure would order all counties to allow travelers to travel without any mandatory quarantine if they opt to undergo a test for COVID-19 and subsequently get a negative report under the program of the state. But it would also cap the ability of the state to make quick changes to existing rules without the involvement of the state legislature.
This bill then automatically puts an end to the program of Kauai island that requires travellers to have not one but two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests in order to get out of mandatory quarantine.
Kauai island offers two types of options. Either visitors show a negative pre-travel covid 19 test report and then get to spend 3 days on one island and then go for a test again before moving to another island. Travellers can take part in a resort bubble quarantine of a span of 3 days and then go for a second test in order to go to another community.
Kauai has said there is very little virus spread since the beginning of the pandemic. In March 2020, it had a total of 232 total cases.
Kauai has begun a modified version of quarantining and testing program since January 5, the island has reported only 35 cases of Covid-19 virus. 30 of the 35 people who have contracted the virus have travelled recently as stated by the Department of Health.
Although Kauai has the least number for the Covd-19 virus than any county in any state across the U.S. but most people have lost various jobs and businesses are suffering very badly.
Public health will always remain the top priority of the people as said by House Speaker Rep. Scott Saiki who is the main author of this bill. But now Kauai has the highest rate of unemployment across any county in the states as of now.
Most say these county rules have deterred the tourists from coming to the Hawaii.
The lack of the rules of cohesion for the travellers who have come to Hawaii has led to a state of confusion as said by Cherly Williams who is running the marketing and sales for Highgate Hotels in Hawaii. This will be harming the future of the industry which is already going through an unprecedented downturn of the economy.
Tourism numbers have come to almost zero dramatically in Hawaii and this has led to this place having the highest unemployment across the nation since the beginning of the pandemic.
Some of the testing labs in the state are unable to get the results in time for people travelling across the states. They generally take 3 days to get the results. This new law will allow people to get a test after arriving in the state, something which the Department of the Health states is quite a problematic situation.