Hawaii Governor David Ige Urges Residents, Visitors To Curtail Non-Essential Travel
For Immediate Release: August 23, 2021
HTA Release (21-30)
HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige today called upon Hawaii residents and visitors to delay all non-essential travel through the end of October 2021 due to the recent, accelerated surge in COVID-19 cases that is now overburdening the state’s health care facilities and resources.
Gov. Ige made the announcement today at a media briefing, noting that, “Our hospitals are reaching capacity and our ICUs are filling up. Now is not a good time to travel to Hawaii.”
Gov. Ige added, “It will take six to seven weeks to see significant change in the number of COVID cases. It is a risky time to be traveling right now. Everyone, residents and visitors alike, should reduce travel to essential business activities only.”
John De Fries, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, noted that even though visitor arrivals overall are already starting to decline, as is historically the case in the fall, visitors should consider postponing their travels to Hawaii.
“Our community, residents and the visitor industry, are responsible for working together to address this crisis,” De Fries said. “As such, we are strongly advising visitors that now is not the right time to travel, and they should postpone their trips through the end of October.”
Dr. Elizabeth Char, director of the Department of Health, emphasized the urgency of the current situation. “The surge of COVID cases is mainly due to community spread, followed by residents flying to hotspot areas abroad and bringing COVID back into their households and community,” Char said. “If things do not change, our health care systems will be crippled and those needing medical care for all types of diseases, injuries and conditions, including our visitors, may find it difficult to get the treatment they need right away.”