Hawaii's governor welcomes travelers as COVID counts drop

Hawaii’s governor says COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations have declined to the point where the islands are ready to welcome travelers once again

HONOLULU -- Hawaii's COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations have declined to the point where the islands are ready to welcome travelers once again, the governor said Tuesday.

Gov. David Ige said vacationers and business travelers are welcome to return to the islands starting Nov. 1.

In the intervening months, Hawaii's seven-day average of daily new cases has plummeted from 900 to 117. COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped from more than 400 to about 100 statewide.

To avoid a 10-day quarantine upon arrival, travelers must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their departure for Hawaii.

The governor said Hawaii was seeking information from the federal government about its plans to require foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. to show proof of vaccination beginning Nov. 8.

Hawaiian Airlines, which is one of the state's biggest employers, has said it will be crucial for Hawaii to match its travel policies with federal rules on international travel to avoid confusion and eliminate redundant screening.

Most visitors to Hawaii during the pandemic have come from the other 49 states, in part because countries like Japan still have strict quarantine requirements for those returning to home after traveling abroad.