UPDATE: Interisland quarantine to only apply to travelers to neighbor islands

UPDATED (5:10 p.m.):

According to press release from the office of Gov. David Ige released this afternoon, the quarantine requirement for interisland travelers will apply only to travelers arriving on Maui, Kauai or the Big Island.

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Under this restriction, a person traveling from the Big Island to Maui or any other county that is not Oahu would be required to quarantine for 14 days or until the end of their stay, whichever comes first. However, that traveler would not have to quarantine after traveling from the Big Island to Oahu, but would have to quarantine after traveling from Oahu to the Big Island.

The purpose of the policy is to “protect our neighbor island residents in light of the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases on Oahu,” read a statement by Ige.

Ige had previously stated that the quarantine requirement would be for all interisland travelers, but according to the press release, that plan was adjusted following discussions with state Attorney General Clare Connors.

UPDATED (3:10 p.m.):

Gov. David Ige announced today that the 14-day interisland quarantine will be imposed Tuesday for all interisland travelers, not just for travelers from Oahu as previously reported.

Starting Tuesday, passengers traveling between islands will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Ige said the decision to reinstate the quarantine policy came after conversations with all county mayors following a spike in COVID-19 cases on Oahu.

Ige said the details of the policy were still being finalized during a conversation with the mayors Wednesday, which he guessed accounts for Mayor Harry Kim’s previous assertion that the quarantine would be for travelers leaving Oahu only.

Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also confirmed that tomorrow will see significant new restrictions on Oahu, including the closure of every park and beach on the island and the creation of a COVID-19 hotline to aid in breaking up large gatherings.

State Health Director Bruce Anderson said he estimates there have been more than 200 new COVID-19 cases in the state today, although technical issues with the state’s electronic reporting software have so far prevented an accurate tally of today’s cases.

PREVIOUSLY:

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim told the Tribune-Herald today that the state will impose a 14-day interisland quarantine policy next week for travelers departing Oahu.

Following discussions between the state’s mayors and Gov. David Ige, Kim said Ige will require passengers of flights leaving Oahu to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We had that discussion yesterday, it was a very long discussion,” Kim said. “And they were talking about a lot more restrictions for Oahu — for example, all parks in Honolulu will be closed again tomorrow.”

Because of an ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases — largely centered on Oahu — Kim said Ige and the mayors have agreed to place restrictions on travel from Oahu.

Interisland passengers from the Big Island, Maui or Kauai arriving on Oahu will not be required to quarantine there, but passengers arriving to any neighbor island from Oahu will have to quarantine in place for 14 days.

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Kim said the Oahu quarantine will be in place until Aug. 31. For now, he said, the state still plans to loosen the quarantine requirements for out-of-state travelers who receive a negative COVID-19 test three days before arrival on Sept. 1.

Kim also said that he has suggested to Ige that the University of Hawaii suspend attendance for out-of-state students for the fall semester, but added that Ige has not made a decision on that front.

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