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 scale back confusion for residents and vacationers.
Talking Friday throughout a Fb Stay stream, Ige mentioned a one-size-fits-all strategy to every county for journey guidelines doesn’t enable counties the pliability to consider 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 totally different situations in every of the counties,” Ige mentioned. “For instance … Kauai has the fewest hospital beds and ICU models, so that they positively are involved about any sort of enhance in instances, as a result of it might very simply overwhelm the hospitals there. , versus Oahu, which we do have 1000’s of hospital rooms right here, and positively can deal with extra instances.
“ … The present system, because it exists, does enable me to situation statewide orders that impacts everybody, but additionally permits the pliability that we will take acceptable motion in every of the counties to answer what we see taking place in the neighborhood.”
A invoice calling for a uniform journey coverage “wouldn’t enable for the sorts of exemptions that we’re at present seeing, reminiscent of on Kauai,” Saiki informed the Honolulu Star-Advertiser final week. “The statewide journey coverage ought 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 Protected 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 Protected 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 accredited properties after which take a post-travel check. These with adverse check outcomes are launched from quarantine.
The explanations Saiki listed for the necessity for a regulation to set statewide guidelines embrace avoiding confusion amongst incoming vacationers, an absence of information displaying journey is a predominant reason for the coronavirus infections in Hawaii, and the position journey performs within the state’s financial system.
The numbers of recent coronavirus instances statewide spiked on the finish of final week. On Thursday, there have been 322 new instances reported statewide, with 18 of these on the Large Island. On Friday, there have been 264 new instances statewide, 10 in Hawaii County.
“We anticipated that there can 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 need to ensure we don’t need to get overrun, that we don’t need to ration care or do these sorts of issues that basically put our neighborhood in danger.”
Ige mentioned the clear majority of recent instances “positively is residents.”
“The numbers of instances which might be tied to guests proceed to be, comparatively, a small proportion of the instances we’re seeing,” he mentioned.
Roth mentioned Friday he has “blended emotions” about Saiki’s proposed laws.
“It will be good if all of us had the identical guidelines however, you understand, each county is totally different. We’ve got totally different wants and totally different issues proper now,” Roth mentioned. “Kauai has only a few hospital beds, so if their hospitalizations go up by only a few individuals, they’re closely impacting their hospitals. We’ve got 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 have to take the identical tack that Kauai has taken. We’ve got a secondary (post-arrival) testing program that appears to be working fairly properly. It’s not excellent, however we’re catching lots of people on the airport, and we’re maintaining our numbers down.”
Each Ige and Roth additionally expressed concern about variant strains of the coronavirus that have been first detected in England and have now been present in numerous 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 adverse check earlier than touchdown. Passengers testing adverse wouldn’t be topic to quarantine, he mentioned.
Passengers with out adverse check outcomes at present are required to undergo a 10-day quarantine.
The Related Press contributed to this story.
E-mail John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.