Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced Wednesday that starting Oct. 15, out of state travelers who test negative for COVID-19 can skip the two week quarantine period.
The plan stipulates that travelers must test negative for the virus 72 hours before arrival on the island, according to ABC News. CVS and Kaiser Permanente will perform the test, per an agreement with the state, the report added.
“I want to emphasize that this pre-travel testing will allow us to add a greater element of safety for travel into our state,” Ige said at a news conference.
Hawaii’s governor says that starting next month, travelers arriving from out of state may bypass a 14-day quarantine requirement if they test negative for COVID-19. https://t.co/f9lyh5khaP
— ABC News (@ABC) September 17, 2020
Leaders are hopeful that the measure will offer an incentive to tourists and stimulate the local economy. Lt. Gov. Josh Green said the plan will facilitate economic opportunity to the state in a time of severe unemployment as tourism has dropped 90%, per ABC.
“I worry about the long term impacts of economic distress and that impact this has on our people, when they can’t afford their homes as easily or groceries or healthcare,” Green said.
A Yelp Economic Impact Report released Wednesday found that nearly 98,000 businesses have closed permanently due to COVID-19 shutdowns. Hawaii joins Nevada and California with the highest number of total closures. (RELATED: More Than Half Of Business Closures Caused By Economic Lockdowns Are Permanent, Yelp Data Show)