Hawaii Governor asks all visitors to cancel their trips to Hawaii

 Friday, March 20, 2020

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Tuesday asked all visitors who had planned to come to Hawaii to stop their trips for the next 30 days and reschedule “for another date” to hold back the further spread of the corona virus across the islands.


Ige had no estimate for the economic impact on the island economy, depending largely on tourism.


“We do know there will be significant impact,” Ige said at a news conference.


However, he emphasized that his call to postpone island visits is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.


“We’re suggesting all activities shut down for the next 15 days,” Ige said.


“We’re starting to see the disease more often occur in Hawaii. You all know this virus is spreading rapidly through most of the U.S.,” said state Health Director Bruce Anderson in a conference call with reporters. “In many areas (on the mainland) we have community spread. When that happens you’re going to see a dramatic increase in the number of cases, and we expect that to happen in here,” he added.


Community spread cases are those not involving recent travel.


On Monday, health officials announced Hawaii’s first confirmed case of community spread: a Kualoa Ranch tour guide.


The Kualoa Ranch case was “very likely” since the employee came in close contact with an infected tourist, said Anderson.


”The general recommendation would be to avoid groups and gatherings, and that would be tour groups, where people come in contact with each other,” Anderson said.


Gov. David Ige announced several measures for slowing the spread of the novel corona virus across the islands, including:


>> Asking all Hawaii visitors to defer their trips for the next 30 days


>> Disembarking cruise ship passengers will be thermal scanned for possible signs of corona virus infections.


>> All non-essential state workers should stay home, work from home or perform other duties for the next 15 days.


>> All non-essential state travel will be banned, including neighbor island trips excluding state Department of Education travel. Everyone traveling for the state must go for a 14-day self quarantine.


>> All bars and clubs should be closed.


>> Places of worship should suspend all services and activities.


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