Gov. David Ige and Mayor Mitch Roth each expressed misgivings about state Home Speaker Scott Saiki’s plans to introduce laws to ascertain statewide COVID-19 journey guidelines, which Saiki mentioned would cut back confusion for residents and vacationers.
Talking Friday throughout a Fb Reside stream, Ige mentioned a one-size-fits-all method to every county for journey guidelines doesn’t permit counties the flexibleness to keep in mind their very own conditions in regard to the coronavirus and its impact on tourism, and vice versa.
“I do assume that flexibility is necessary, and we do see very completely different circumstances in every of the counties,” Ige mentioned. “For instance … Kauai has the fewest hospital beds and ICU models, in order that they positively are involved about any form of enhance in circumstances, as a result of it will probably very simply overwhelm the hospitals there. , versus Oahu, which we do have hundreds of hospital rooms right here, and positively can deal with extra circumstances.
“ … The present system, because it exists, does permit me to subject statewide orders that impacts everybody, but in addition permits the flexibleness that we are able to take acceptable motion in every of the counties to reply to what we see taking place locally.”
A invoice calling for a uniform journey coverage “wouldn’t permit for the sorts of exemptions that we’re presently seeing, reminiscent of on Kauai,” Saiki advised the Honolulu Star-Advertiser final week. “The statewide journey coverage needs to be constant and apply to all counties to keep away from confusion and to assist prop up our whole statewide financial system.”
Kauai had opted out of the state’s Secure Travels program, however on Tuesday modified its guidelines to permit vacationers who’ve been within the state for 3 days to take part within the Secure Travels program when touring to the Backyard Isle.
Kauai additionally has began a “resort bubble” program, permitting vacationers who take a pre-travel check to quarantine for 3 days at accepted properties after which take a post-travel check. These with unfavourable check outcomes are launched from quarantine.
The explanations Saiki listed for the necessity for a legislation to set statewide guidelines embrace avoiding confusion amongst incoming vacationers, an absence of information exhibiting journey is a predominant explanation for the coronavirus infections in Hawaii, and the function journey performs within the state’s financial system.
The numbers of recent coronavirus circumstances statewide spiked on the finish of final week. On Thursday, there have been 322 new circumstances reported statewide, with 18 of these on the Large Island. On Friday, there have been 264 new circumstances statewide, 10 in Hawaii County.
“We anticipated that there could be a rise with the vacations and the elevated holidays. It was anticipated however clearly regarding,” Ige mentioned. “, we’re monitoring that and monitoring hospitalizations. … We wish to be sure that we don’t wish to get overrun, that we don’t need to ration care or do these sorts of issues that actually put our group in danger.”
Ige mentioned the clear majority of recent circumstances “positively is residents.”
“The numbers of circumstances which can be tied to guests proceed to be, comparatively, a small proportion of the circumstances we’re seeing,” he mentioned.
Roth advised the Tribune-Herald Friday he has “combined emotions” about Saiki’s proposed laws.
“It could be good if all of us had the identical guidelines however, , each county is completely different. We now have completely different wants and completely different issues proper now,” Roth mentioned. “Kauai has only a few hospital beds, so if their hospitalizations go up by only a few folks, they’re closely impacting their hospitals. We now have a a lot bigger island, however we nonetheless don’t have that many hospital beds. And (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) we had two (COVID-19 sufferers) in our hospitals.
“Because the numbers go up, as we see these numbers go uncontrolled, we could must take the identical tack that Kauai has taken. We now have a secondary (post-arrival) testing program that appears to be working fairly nicely. It’s not excellent, however we’re catching lots of people on the airport, and we’re holding our numbers down.”
Each Ige and Roth additionally expressed concern about variant strains of the coronavirus that had been first detected in England and have now been present in varied elements of the mainland U.S.
Saiki mentioned he expects opposition from particular person counties about making uniform, statewide journey guidelines.
Saiki is also more likely to introduce laws permitting inbound passengers to take a COVID-19 check at Daniel Ok. Inouye Worldwide Airport in Honolulu if they don’t have a unfavourable check earlier than touchdown. Passengers testing unfavourable wouldn’t be topic to quarantine, he mentioned.
Passengers with out unfavourable check outcomes presently are required to undergo a 10-day quarantine.
The Related Press contributed to this story.
E-mail John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.