Visitors to Maui: Attention
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Interisland Travel Won’t Return Any Time Soon
September 30, 2020
By Max DibleSeptember 30, 2020, 3:34 PM HST (Updated September 30, 2020, 3:34 PM)
The mandatory, 14-day interisland travel quarantine will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.
Gov. David Ige on Wednesday held a press conference, granting direct media availability for the first time in two weeks. The last time the governor took to the microphone in mid-September was to announce plans to launch a pre-travel testing program that would allow tourists to earn trans-Pacific quarantine exemptions by certifying a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of travel. On Wednesday, he stepped to the podium to explain the same sort of system for interisland travel is not yet feasible.
“The 14-day quarantine for travel between O‘ahu and neighbor islands will remain in place,” Ige said. “The challenge is access to tests.”
People arriving from overseas will be required to pay for their own out-of-state tests and receive a negative result before traveling. Kaiser Permanente and CVS will be contracted to help administer those tests, while Hawaiian Airlines and United have both announced plans to offer rapid turnaround tests for their passengers. Other airlines, like American, are exploring the idea as well.
Any tests used for interisland travel would come from the state’s supply, which it can’t currently spare.
“Our concern is the number of tests we currently have available,” Ige said.
Local labs have the capacity to process between 3,000 and 5,000 tests per day. Prior to the pandemic, a typical interisland travel load registered at between 20,000 and 25,000 passengers.
The governor said the state’s testing capacity, in both the volume of tests available and processing capability, will not need to reach 20,000 before interisland travel sheds quarantine restrictions.
However, diverting tests for casual, lower priority travel at this time would be imprudent, the governor said.
“We want to make sure that testing capacity is available for the highest priority needs,” said Ige, noting that high priorities include testing those who are symptomatic, as well as tests for their contacts and post-contacts. “Priorities (are also) for long-term care facilities and first responders who may be exposed. Typically, we conduct 2,000 to 3,000 tests every day. We want to make sure that we don’t take away from that capacity for leisure travel or travel that wouldn’t be as high a priority.”
The state is attempting to increase local testing capacity to 12,000 daily. Part of that initiative will include the pursuit of agreements with out-of-state labs. There are also a number of new COVID-19 tests now available that are under evaluation, which may help the state to reach its goal.
Ige provided no firm date or timeline for when he might repeal Hawai‘i’s mandatory interisland travel quarantine.
CORONA VIRUS UPDATES | EFFECTIVE September 16, 2020:
Maui Economic Development Board, Inc. (MEDB) is administering the $5M Adaptability Fund, a program funded by the CARES Act. The purpose of the Adaptability Fund is to provide grants to eligible Maui County Small Businesses to support costs required to conduct business in compliance with health and social distancing guidelines, to modify operations, and to invest in technology infrastructure to expand their virtual platforms, web-based marketing, and E-commerce. The fund is intended to allow flexibility to customize investments to retool and restructure for their unique business needs.
Grants may range from $5,000 to $25,000. On acceptance, the initial grant distribution is expected to cover 50% of the total amount approved. A spreadsheet template detailing relevant expenses must be completed, with supporting receipts or proof of payment, as well as the Final Report to receive the remaining funds. These documents must be received no later than Monday November 16, 2020. If the business fails to satisfactorily complete all reporting requirements and fulfill the purpose of the grant as proposed, the business must repay the advanced funds.
The Business is required to submit a detailed budget with proposed expenses and a narrative explaining specific purpose for each expense, including a rationale as how these grants will support their business restructuring plans. A budget template will be provided.
You can use the grant to reimburse COVID mitigation expenses already incurred if expenses were paid after March 20, 2020. All funds of the grant must be spent by November 16, 2020 and final reports with final reimbursement requests are due by November 16, 2020. Any unused funds will need to be returned.
Hawaii Reopens to Visitors visit
https://www.hawaii-guide.com/hawaii-reopening-what-you-need-to-know for more details
Things to know about visiting a reopening Hawaii
Last Updated: September 16, 2020, at 12 pm HST
Pre-Travel Testing Program begins October 1**
Undoubtedly, many visitors have been keeping a close eye on Hawaii and its process of reopening to visitors and tourists. Since late March, there has been a 14-day quarantine, and there's potentially some good news on that front lately. Hawaii will now be relaxing the mandatory 14-day quarantine policy as of Thursday, October 1, 2020, allowing travelers to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test instead. This October 1, 2020** date is tentative and will be re-evaluated.
**Delay Notice: Visitors should know that there may be additional reopening delays. On August 18th, Governor Ige once again pushed the opening date from September 1st until at least October 1st. We just received word recently (9/15) that Governor Ige of Hawaii has recently suggested pushing the October 1st re-opening date back again. During a recent interview with 'Spotlight Hawaii' he said, "Just talking with many in the industry, it (the pre-test re-opening) will probably not be October 1st." Judging by his remarks, we feel fairly confident the October 1st reopening will in fact be delayed a third time. We've also now learned that the Hawaii 'Resort Bubbles' concept has been initially approved for all quarantined travelers; though this is approved only on Kauai to date. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and provide further updates on this page.
Forget about a Hawaii vacation until at least October as COVID-19 spike delays tourism reopeningDawn GilbertsonUSA TODAY
Hawaii Gov. David Ige has hinted about it for weeks as COVID-19 cases in the state surged, and on Tuesday he made it official: The state won't reopen to tourism until October at the earliest.
The planned Sept. 1 start of a program that would allow out-of-state visitors to bypass Hawaii's strict 14-day quarantine upon arrival by presenting a negative COVID-19 test at the airport has been delayed until at least Oct. 1, Ige said late Tuesday.
"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 (COVID-19) testing program," he said.
The delay, the second since the program was announced in June, will affect passengers who bet on the Sept. 1 reopening and bought airline tickets to Hawaii; airline flight schedules; and, of course, Hawaii's pummeled tourism industry. The quarantine began in March, and the latest extension means much of the year will be wiped out as few visitors want to be confined to their hotel or vacation rental.
Ige said the state will announce a new date in advance so "that the hospitality industry would have the time they need to staff up'' and support the new COVID-19 option for visitors.
For more information on the virus and regulations within the state of Hawaii, please visit: https://hawaiicovid19.com .
Ige Announces Delays to Pre-Test Travel Program (July 13, 2020)
Governor Ige announces that he is delaying opening the State to pre-test travel until September 1st. The decision comes after discussions with Mayors, and the Department of Health.
In response to today’s announcement, Chris Tatum, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) said, “We want to welcome back our visitors once our state is ready to do so in a safe manner that will hopefully avoid the need to backtrack in the future. Once we receive details on the process and requirements from the Department of Transportation and the DOH, we will share that information with the visitor industry.”
The governor said during the news briefing this afternoon: “We have always said that we will make decisions based on the health and safety of our community as the highest priority. This decision came through much much discussion and we have assessed the situation that we see before us and over the past few weeks. I’ve already mentioned that we’ve set a new record in the number of cases – 42. And just a reminder a few days before that we had set the previous record of 41 cases.”
Gov. Ige added: “On the U.S. mainland we continue to see uncontrolled outbreaks and surges. This includes the highest number of daily cases in California, Texas, Arizona and Florida, and increasing cases in Nevada. As we speak right now, the outbreaks on the mainland are not in control and we don’t believe that that situation would change significantly by August 1st as we had hoped.”
To see the Governors Press Conference Video please visit https://www.facebook.com/MauiVacationRentalAssociation/posts/178049793725608
MENEHUNE SHORES SPECIFIC NOTICES:
- Elevator Project has currently been delayed, to the end of April due to the COVID-19 pandemic - date is subject to change.
- The BBQ areas and the Roof are still open for the time being.
- The AOAO Office hours will continue with its normal hours of operation, of 9am - 2pm, Monday through Friday. The office doors will be closed but, there is a COVID-19 window that is available.
- Building is continuously being sprayed on a daily basis with hospital grade disinfectant (i.e.: hand railings, doorknobs, elevator buttons, etc.)
Mahalo for your kokua during this time,
Menehune Reservations Team