California lawmakers are in Hawaii for the annual Independent Voter Project conference despite strict travel guidelines.
The Project will host about 120 people, including 20 lawmakers and their families, from California, Texas and Washington state at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui this week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
This year’s conference will focus on how to properly reopen the economy and the tourism sector, and it will feature presentations from Hawaiian government officials, according to the Chronicle.
Many lobbyists are also in attendance at the event in an effort to influence policy discussions with lawmakers, according to Chairman and Executive Director of the Independent Voter Project Dan Howle, the Chronicle reported.
Currently, Hawaii has adopted the Safe Travels program to screen tourists arriving on the island for COVID-19, which usually includes a quarantine after arriving or a negative COVID-19 test before arriving. The CDC currently advises against nonessential travel.
The Safe Travels Program is a multi-tiered approach that combines our pre-travel test, airport health screening, airline and hotel safety protocols, improved contract tracing, and other safety measures, all at the ready to allow travelers to bypass the 14-day quarantine. pic.twitter.com/UbQ7aqNeRz
— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) October 15, 2020
The conference comes just days after Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom reportedly broke gathering restrictions to attend at a birthday dinner at The French Laundry in Napa Valley. (RELATED: California Gov. Gavin Newsom Reportedly Attends Dinner Party That Went Against California’s Coronavirus Advice)
“Fair to say that the timing isn’t great. Anybody organizing an in-person event should think carefully about the optics, particularly in California, where the governor has just sent most of the state into purple. There’s a chance this will not be received well by the general public,” Claremont McKenna College politics professor Jack Pitney told Politico.
Newsom moved most California counties into the restrictive purple tier Monday amidst a COVID-19 surge nationwide.